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I Was Diagnosed With Hypermobility In My 30s – This Is What I Wish I’d Known

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When I was diagnosed with hypermobility, it was a shock. I was never what you would call a ‘bendy person’ which, at the time, is what I thought hypermobility was.

But hypermobility is so much more than being able to stand on your head (I can’t do that) and perform backflips (I definitely can’t do them!)

I’ve spent the last two and half years researching hypermobility. As a result, I now know that many of the symptoms I’ve suffered with all my life are due to being hypermobile.

Below are a list of symptoms I’ve spent my life battling which never made sense until I was diagnosed with hypermobility. Are you affected by the same ones?

Not everyone tires easily

I look back as a child, teenager, and young adult and remember tiring easily. A day at school would completely wipe me out and I’d spend the rest of the day sitting and watching TV. There were no after-school clubs for me – I didn’t have the energy!

I assumed that everyone tired like this. Just that some people chose to persevere through it and do more with their days and some (like me) didn’t.

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hypermobility. Thankfully, it can be managed with regular exercise, healthy eating, and by taking supplements suitable for hypermobility.

Getting pain in your feet isn’t normal

Walking around the park, a trip to the beach, a day out at the zoo, it doesn’t matter what it is, it makes my feet hurt. I thought everyone had foot pain after walking around for a few hours (or, in my case now, just a few minutes).

Turns out, this isn’t the case. People without hypermobility don’t regularly experience foot pain. Foot pain is felt for lots of reason. Firstly, our connective tissue is faulty and/or weak, so it doesn’t support all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in our feet as it’s meant to.

This issue also causes flat feet. This is where you have low or fallen foot arches. Arch support can help to reduce the symptoms of fallen foot arches.

Hypermobility is genetic

Hypermobility is in your genes. The chance of being hypermobile if one of your parents has the condition is 50%. This rises to 75% when both parents are hypermobile.

Now that I know I’ve got HSD, I know that my kids are hypermobile. I can also now see that it runs on my mum’s side of the family.

Hypermobility affects menstruation

All of those problems I had as a teenager can be blamed on hypermobility. Heavy periods, debilitating cramps, fainting, and dizzy spells – yep hypermobility was the cause!

Recurrent ankle sprains are a sign of hypermobility

This is connected to the the foot pain I mentioned earlier. The poor connective tissue in my feet means that my feet aren’t supported properly. As a result, ankle rolling is common which then leads to ankle sprains.

Properly fitted shoes with good support are crucial to prevent recurrent ankle sprains caused by hypermobility. Skechers are good shoes for hypermobility for this reason.

Excessive bruising is due to being hypermobile

Before I was diagnosed with hypermobility, I could not work out why I had so many bruises. They appear from nowhere! My kids are the same and so are various other family members.

We’ve all had blood clotting tests and everything came back normal. No-one ever mentioned hypermobility as a possible cause. But, now we know!

We’re not the only ones either. Research reveals that 43% of people with joint hypermobility report a history of easy bruising.

Doing high impact exercise is not good

Have you ever wanted to lose weight or tone up and thought you’d give exercises such as running or HIIT training a go?

Well, that’s not a good idea. High impact training can do more harm than good. The impact has the potential to damage your joints and cause injury.

Exercise is needed to help your hypermobile body, though. Some of the best exercises for hypermobility include swimming, walking, and Pilates.

Pushing my knees right back isn’t normal or good for me

Even though I’ve now been diagnosed with hypermobility, I’m still guilty of doing this. There’s no better feeling than stretching and forcing my knees as far back as they’ll go.

The test for hypermobility includes checking for hypermobility in the knees and what I do is exactly what is included in the test.

Chronic back pain is related to hypermobility

As a teenager, I had ongoing problems with my back. The doctors never found anything wrong with it. I think they thought I was making it up!

women holding her back

However, there’s a link between chronic back pain and hypermobility, so at least I now know why I’ve had back problems for so many years.

Shoes hurt my feet

I hate shoes! I always have. Finding a comfortable pair of shoes is hard when you have hypermobility.

It’s normal to have wide feet when you’re hypermobile and this makes it even harder to find a decent pair of shoes.

Summer’s not so bad, though as I find that flip flops are good. But, they don’t support my feet enough, so it increases my chance of an ankle injury.

Being diagnosed with hypermobility has really opened my eyes. I now have answers to so many health mysteries that have bothered me for years.

Author

  • Amy

    Amy lives with hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD). She spent years not knowing what was wrong with her body, before eventually being diagnosed in her 30s. She has two young children - both of whom are hypermobile.

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