Spinal Services

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders

For some people, flexibility comes from yoga and pilates classes, but other people are born with flexible joints. This is called hypermobility.

Hypermobility presents in different ways for different people. For some, it is as simple as having more flexibility in all, or some, of their joints; but others can experience chronic pain and other skin-related conditions, which is called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a collective group of 13 connective tissue disorders, which can include joint hypermobility.

EDS is genetic and each form has its own set of features and diagnostic requirements. One of the common symptoms for each form is hypermobility, however the two are not always linked. You can have EDS and not be hypermobile, and you can be hypermobile and not have a form of EDS.

Read more about the 13 different types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes here.

What is hypermobility?

Also known as being ‘double jointed’, hypermobility is simply having additional range of movement in joints such as the fingers, elbows, hips, knees and spine.

Hypermobility spectrum disorder can classify your hypermobility and identify any injury risks you need to be aware of. You can work with a physiotherapist to understand your hypermobility and create a treatment plan.

The most common sign of hypermobility is the ability to over-extend joints, but other symptoms include:

  • Clicking joints
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic pain, often in the back and neck
  • Easy bruising
  • Stretchy skin
  • Increased risk of reoccurring joint dislocation[1]

You can read more about joint hypermobility in our blog here.

Joint hypermobility

Joint hypermobility

Joint hypermobility is the most common form of the condition and is thought to affect 1 in 10 people, with women three times more likely to be affected [1].

If you suspect you might be hypermobile, there is a hypermobility test you can undertake with a physiotherapist.

This will test will explore the range of movement in your:

  • Thumbs and wrists
  • Knees
  • Fingers
  • Arms
  • Spine

Book an appointment with the team at The Brisbane Spine Clinic to assess your hypermobility and create a personalised treatment plan today

How physio can help EDS and hypermobility

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome hypermobility and other forms of hypermobility can sometimes cause chronic pain [1]. As a result, people with these conditions can seek treatment from a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy for hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome could include:

Understanding your range of movements and what you should extend, or limit is an important part of physio treatment with hypermobile patients.
Your physio can give you a tailored exercise plan which can reduce your tension and pain.

Regardless of your level of hypermobility, it is important to stretch areas of pain to reduce tension. Stretching is simple movements you can do from anywhere. You may be recommended to use stretching aides, such as back balls to help.

Hypermobility can sometimes cause pain, particularly in the back and neck. This can be treated by your Brisbane Spine Clinic [link] physiotherapist.

Treatment could include manual treatment, supporting treatments such as strapping your back, and at-home care advice.

Exercise and stretching can improve your posture [2]. Posture is important in managing pain and preventing injury. Your physio can help you with improving your spinal and postural health.

Hypermobile people are often at a higher risk of joint dislocation [1]. Your physiotherapist can work with you to increase your strength and muscle tone, which can sometimes reduce injury.

Book an appointment today

Come and meet the friendly team at The Brisbane Spine Clinic today [link]. We have clinics in Eight Mile Plains, North Lakes and Daisy Hill.

Two of our Physiotherapists have special interests in the management of chronic neck and back pain, which can be caused by hypermobility.

We can work with you to understand your hypermobility, treat any areas of concern, and create an individualised plan to manage your Elhers-Danlos syndrome or hypermobility today.


All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion


[1] 221006 Hypermobility spectrum disorders pt info – Updated.pdf (rheumatology.org.au)

[2] How to improve your posture – posture exercises for home and work | healthdirect

General: https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/what-is-eds/