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RheumatologyClinical services

Hypermobility syndrome

Hypermobility syndrome (HMS) is an underestimated and unusual disorder of connective tissue. It is a complex condition with associated psychological problems that can be difficult to manage. Although joint hypermobility alone may not cause problems, some people can be prone to musculoskeletal injuries, generalised joint and muscle pains and chronic pain; the condition then becomes known as HMS. Early and effective intervention and diagnosis can mean that hypermobility is less likely to develop into HMS.

Why choose us?

We are a specialist centre with specialised skills and experience in helping people with this condition. Our HMS medical team is led by consultant rheumatologist Dr Tim Jenkinson. The therapy team is led by a specialist physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

The department is proactive in research and teaching.

What we offer

Our specialist hypermobility service employs a multidisciplinary approach to reflect the multi-dimensional aspects of the syndrome. Once HMS has been diagnosed, patients see a consultant for a thorough medical assessment to screen for rarer forms of heritable disorders of connective tissues (HDCT) and inflammatory conditions that may replicate multiple joint pains. Some patients only need minimal input, for example patient education and better understanding of positional joint and movement awareness. Other patients have established chronic pain and reduced ability to function normally. In these cases, the aims of rehabilitation are to help minimise the psychosocial elements and optimise function through reassurance, education, advice and pain management. These patients are then seen either on an outpatient basis or, in some cases, as an inpatient.

The aims of our therapy are:

  • restoration of normal joint motion, enhancement of joint stability, proprioception and muscle endurance around hypermobile joints
  • fatigue management and pacing advice
  • education on modifying repetitive activities, avoiding and managing work-related injuries and ergonomics
  • joint protection/positional awareness and postural management
  • advice on sports and exercise
  • management of related symptoms such as stress incontinence, postural hypotension, hyperventilation, venous insufficiency
  • advice on behavioural strategies – pacing/coping/pain management
  • activity and lifestyle modification to improve self-management and function and reduce disability.

How to access our service

(Adults) Dr Tim Jenkinson, consultant rheumatologist. Tel: 01225 473428

Direct therapy referrals can be made to Sin-ti Towlson, lead physiotherapist, or Sandi Derham, clinical specialist occupational therapist. Tel: 01225 465941 ext. 252