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Hypermobility

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Hypermobility

Hypermobility, also known as joint laxity, is a condition where joints move beyond their normal range of motion. In this guide, we'll explore hypermobility, its impact on foot health, and how our podiatrists can help manage this condition.

Definition

Hypermobility is a condition characterized by joints that move more than they should, often referred to as being "double-jointed." While some degree of joint flexibility is normal, excessive joint mobility can lead to instability, pain, and an increased risk of injury. Hypermobility can affect any joint in the body, including those in the feet and ankles.

What causes Hypermobility?

Hypermobility can be genetic, meaning it runs in families. It may also be associated with certain medical conditions, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan's syndrome, or joint hypermobility syndrome. Additionally, factors such as gender, age, and hormonal changes can influence joint laxity. Individuals with hypermobile joints may experience symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and a higher risk of sprains and dislocations.

How does it affect my foot health?

Hypermobility can have a significant impact on foot health, as the feet and ankles are complex structures where the movement around our joints is controlled by our ligaments, muscles and tendons. In individuals with hypermobility, some or all of the foot and ankle joints may be excessively flexible, leading to anything from flat feet (over pronation), to ankle instability, compensatory clawing of the toes and an overall increased risk of foot and ankle injuries. Hypermobility can also contribute to conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and bunions.

How can podiatry help?

Our podiatrists are specialists in diagnosing and managing foot and ankle conditions associated with hypermobility. We offer personalised treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs, which may include:

1. Orthotic Devices: Customand off-the-shelf orthotic devices or shoe inserts can provide support, stability, and alignment for hypermobile feet, reducing strain on the joints and preventing injuries.

2. Footwear Recommendations: Our podiatrists can recommend appropriate footwear with adequate support and stability to accommodate hypermobile joints and prevent overpronation or ankle strains etc.

3. Physical Therapy: Our experienced podiatrists can develop a targeted exercise program to strengthen the muscles surrounding the foot and ankle, improving stability and reducing the risk of injury.

4. Taping: Bracing or taping techniques may be used to provide additional support and stability to hypermobile joints, particularly during physical activity or sports.

5. Education and Lifestyle Modifications: We provide education and guidance on proper foot care, injury prevention strategies, and lifestyle modifications to manage hypermobility and maintain foot health.

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