Hypermobility is overmobility or excessive mobility of the spine. It is often combined with the same effect on other joints. Hypermobility is evident when patients can easily put their hands flat on the floor. When standing they can arch backwards a long way too. Their knees and elbows can often bend backwards to an unusual extent. Patients often know that they are rather 'floppy jointed'.
Often sufferers are extremely mobile from early life, or as a result of extensive involvement in activities which stretch joints and ligaments father than build muscle. Yoga and ballet are two such activities which can precipitate hypermobility.
Certain soft tissue (collagen) deficiencies can play a part. Often hypermobility can be missed because patients are very mobile. They require muscle strengthening rather than manipulation and stretching. Exercise advice and careful monitoring are importand as well as avoiding stretching. Physiotherapy based Pilates with Julia Endacott can help strengthen the deep muscles of the spine and this is known as strengthening 'core stability'.
It is important to avoid specific manipulation of hypermobile joints, instead focusing on exercises and activities which will stabalise the affected joints.