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Joint Hypermobility And Fibromyalgia

During the last decade, the medical condition known as joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) has captured the interest of a rising number of researchers and clinicians. It is not just JHS alone that is of interest, however, but its overlap and interrelationship with other maladies which fall under the heading of “soft tissue rheumatism”, including epicondylitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia (FM).

As its name suggests, joint hypermobility occurs when large or small joints in the body are able to extend beyond their normal physiological limits.1 Most of us can probably remember childhood friends or classmates who were able to effortlessly contort their bodies in seemingly impossible ways. We may have seen ballet dancers, athletes, or musicians who are able to perform incredible feats in their crafts. Some of us may even be aware of joints in our own bodies which hyper-extend, pop out of alignment, or become dislocated. Often though, people are unaware of the condition unless it causes them pain or other problems. Because JHS is inherited, several members of a family can have it and just not realize that they are any different from anyone else.

For many years, JHS was considered a minor rheumatologic malady which occurred in 5-15% of the general population, largely females. JHS seemed to cause mainly biomechanical problems which typically occurred following periods of excessive or repetitive physical activity. However, as noted by Rodney Grahame, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Rheumatology at the University College of London Hospitals and a leading authority on joint hypermobility, a lot has changed since then.

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Joint Hypermobility And Fibromyalgia