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Jobs to Avoid with Hypermobility: Protecting Your Joints

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The majority of people can pick and choose which career they want, but people with joint hypermobility don’t always have this luxury. There are lots of jobs to avoid with hypermobility as they could damage your joints or put you at risk of hypermobility-related symptoms, such as subluxations. 

Hypermobility can range from mild to severe and it can impact your ability to perform certain jobs that require physical labor or prolonged standing or sitting. In this post, we’ll discuss some jobs to avoid with hypermobility and offer suggestions for alternative careers.

Can You Work With Joint Hypermobility Syndrome?

Yes. The majority of people with joint hypermobility syndrome can work in some capacity.

However, they may work part-time rather than full-time or work from home.

Individuals who are greatly impacted by their hypermobility may not be able to work, though. These are the people that are most likely to be able to claim benefits for their condition.

Can Hypermobility Affect Work?

Unfortunately, hypermobility can affect your work. Some examples of how your hypermobility may impact your job include:

  • Brain fog – researchers have reported a link between hypermobility and altered brain structure. Brain fog is a common complaint in hypermobility and can result in forgetfulness and poor concentration.

  • Fatigue hypermobility causes tiredness and fatigue. As a result, productivity in the workplace drops, and mistakes increase.

  • Joint pain – pain makes workers uncomfortable, irritable, and anxious. This may impact relationships with colleagues and output at work.

  • Mood disordershypermobility is associated with anxiety, stress, depression, and other mood disorders. It’s hard to hide these feelings at work.

  • Gastrointestinal issues – IBS, reflux, and constipation are just a few GI issues that are linked to hypermobility. These conditions are painful and can make you cranky at work. You’re also likely to have to use the loo frequently which may impact your productivity.

  • Bladder problems – hypermobility often causes an overactive bladder, so make sure you factor in lots of toilet breaks between tasks and meetings.

  • Temperature fluctuations – people with hypermobility often struggle to regulate their temperatures. Changes in the weather make it tricky to focus on the job at hand and feel comfortable.

Physical Labor Jobs to Avoid With Hypermobility

People with hypermobility are at a higher risk of joint injuries, such as dislocations and sprains. Therefore, jobs that require physical labor or repetitive movements should be avoided. Here are some examples:

  • Construction worker – Construction workers engage in activities such as lifting heavy objects, climbing ladders, and using power tools. These activities put a lot of stress on the joints, and the risk of injuries is high. People with hypermobility should avoid this line of work.
  • Warehouse worker – Warehouse workers are responsible for moving heavy objects and packages, which can cause strain on the joints. Additionally, standing for prolonged periods can be challenging for people with hypermobility. This job should be avoided by those with hypermobility.
  • Landscaper – Landscapers spend long hours working outdoors, which can be physically demanding. The job involves tasks such as mowing lawns, digging, and carrying heavy loads. People with hypermobility should avoid this job to prevent joint injuries.

Prolonged Sitting Jobs to Avoid With Hypermobility

While jobs that require physical labor are challenging for people with hypermobility, sedentary jobs that involve prolonged sitting can also be problematic. Here are some examples:

  • Desk job – Desk jobs require sitting for long hours, which can cause joint pain and stiffness for people with hypermobility. Additionally, the repetitive movements of typing and using a mouse can lead to overuse injuries. Desk jobs aren’t completely ruled out, though. A standing desk is good for hypermobility. As is, an ergonomic, adjustable chair.

  • Driving jobs – Driving jobs, such as truck driving or delivery, require long hours of sitting and can lead to joint pain and stiffness. People with hypermobility should consider other jobs that allow for more movement.

  • Office job with limited mobility – Some office jobs require prolonged sitting, but also limit mobility, such as call center positions. These jobs can be problematic for people with hypermobility who need to change positions frequently. Alternative options include jobs that allow for more movement, such as customer service positions that involve walking or standing.

Alternative Jobs for People with Hypermobility

If you have hypermobility and are looking for alternative job options, here are some suggestions:

  • Freelance work – Freelance work allows for flexible hours and the ability to work from home, which can be beneficial for people with hypermobility. Some examples of freelance work include writing, graphic design, and programming.
  • Office jobs with mobility – Some office jobs require sitting for prolonged periods, but also allow for more mobility, such as office assistants or receptionists. These jobs involve tasks such as filing, answering phones, and greeting visitors, which allow for more movement.

  • Healthcare positions – Healthcare positions can be a good fit for people with hypermobility who want to help others. Some positions, such as medical coding or medical billing, involve sitting for prolonged periods but allow for flexible hours. Other positions, such as physical therapy assistants or occupational therapy assistants, involve more movement and can be a good option for those with hypermobility.

Final thoughts

Hypermobility can limit job options for individuals who experience joint pain and stiffness. Avoiding physical labor is best as this can add to your fatigue and put undue stress on your joints. But rest assured there are plenty of jobs you can do and workplace adaptations are always available.

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.