I learnt that I had hypermobile joints at the start of this year. It was a bit strange finding you’ve got a medical condition at 23, surely you’d have found out if there wasn’t something quite right with your body before then? But for whatever reason I hadn’t.
I found out after I started going to an osteopath. I’d had a stiff neck and shoulders and it was getting painful, I put it down to work where I was sat in front of a computer all day but I really needed it sorted. The osteopath worked on my shoulders and neck and told me what exercises and stretches I should do.
It was a few months after I first went that she told me I had hypermobile joints. Having hypermobile joints means that the muscles around my joints are more flexible than normal, though I’m not double jointed or anything. It also comes with some not so nice symptoms as well and I’ve got about half of them. I often have pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, all my joints click – seriously my wrists, ankles, shoulders, knees, chest and neck all click and it really freaks some people out – I get extreme tiredness, I’m accident prone and often walk into things, and I have a history of fainting, especially when I was a teenager.
It’s incredibly that things like my fainting, which I did regularly between the ages of 13 and 18 (I sometimes faint now but I’m much more aware of my body and how to prevent it or make myself safe) and after tests when I was 14 it was put down to the fact I had low blood pressure, was really due to this condition I never knew I had.
Hypermobility doesn’t stop me from doing things, I just get pain in some of my joints, especially when I’m stationary for a long time like working on a computer all day. I’m glad I know about it now because I can put down my clumsiness and my fainting to something medical and is explains a lot about various problems I had during adolescence.
I now go to see the osteopath every four-six weeks and it does help. My lower back and neck still gets a bit stiff sometimes and all my joints still click but I now have exercises I can do to help stop my joints and muscles getting too painful. Activities like yoga and pilates can help but at the moment I haven’t had time to get involved in a class but I do want to.
Having hypermobile joints is just a pain sometimes, it’s one of those conditions that people can’t see the problem. So if I say my back or neck hurt but I’m taking painkillers and working through it, people may think it’s not as bad as it is because I’m used to it but then when it might get a bit much and then I am slow or in pain they wonder why. It’s a bit annoying but I’m used to it.
If you’re interested, you can find out more about hypermobility here.