Hypermobile vs Hypomobile?

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Are your joints hypermobile or hypomobile?

stretchingDid you know that injuries can be caused from joints being too tight or too loose? If you’re hypermobile or hypomobile, it’s best to know so you can modify your activities and prevent injuries.


Hypermobile joints, or hypermobility, are joints that are too loose and move excessively. This condition makes your joints less stable. If you’re hypermobile, your ligaments are too long/loose (or became overstretched) and your muscles have to take over the job of stabilizing your joints. Sometimes people refer to this as “double-jointed”. While it may appear that these individuals have an “extra” joint, they actually simply have excessive range of motion.

Hypermobility causes your muscles to get very tight yet they can often stretch very far. So yes, you might be seem flexible but be very careful to stretch only in your muscle belly (the middle of your muscle) and NOT the joint itself. It’s actually best not to stretch thru your full range of motion because you don’t want to put your body in that compromised position. Utilizing pin and stretch techniques can be helpful, but you may need to use a partner or practitioner to assist you. Ultimately, staying strong is key!


Hypomobile joints, or hypomobility, are joints that are too tight and have decreased range of motion. If you’re hypomobile, your ligaments are too short and tight and you can’t seem to stretch very far. Yes, your muscles are likely to be tight as well but be careful when pushing stretches too far to prevent injuries. Find a comfortable stretch position and simply hold the stretch for 30-90 seconds. Remember to breathe!

And yes, some people have perfectly normal joint range of motion. But it’s important to recognize if you fit into either category above as you may need to modify some of your activites to avoid an injury.

If you’d like us to evaluate your mobility-type and make stretching or strengthening recommendations, please contact us or call at 303-444-1171.

Comments 2

    1. Post

      Hi Bill, thank you for your question. The cause of scoliosis is not completely agreed upon. What we do know is that during puberty, something shifts in the spine. It’s unclear why certain joints end up moving more than others. Typically, hyper or hypomobility would be fairly consistent thru the spinal ligaments so I don’t think of a hypomobile joint as the “cause” for the shift in one particular area of the spine. Although, over time, the areas with the most transition or at the apex of the curves, tend to become less mobile. I sure hope this helps.

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