Hypermobility Syndrome (Joint Hypermobility Syndrome)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

What are joint hypermobility symptoms and signs?

Because the joints are capable of excessive motion in people with the joint hypermobility syndrome, they are susceptible to injury. Symptoms of the joint hypermobility syndrome include pain in the knees, fingers, hips, and elbows. There is a higher incidence of joint dislocation and sprains of involved joints. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) occurs more frequently in people with hypermobile joints and can lead to back pain. Joint hypermobility tends to decrease with aging as we become naturally less flexible.

Signs of the syndrome are the ability to place the palms of the hands on the floor with the knees fully extended, hyperextension of the knee or elbow beyond 10 degrees, and the ability to touch the thumb to the forearm.

How do health-care professionals diagnose joint hypermobility syndrome?

Joint hypermobility syndrome is diagnosed by examining affected joints and noting that they easily move beyond the normal range expected. For example, the middle of the fingers may bend backward more than usual. There is no blood test for hypermobility syndrome.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2016

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