The ultimate checklist for handling hypermobility

Handling hypermobility can be very difficult. It is essential to handle situations in a new and different way.

Continue reading for the ultimate checklist on how to live a life filled with wellness and success even when diagnosed with hypermobility.

The ultimate checklist to handle hypermobility includes:

  • Learn when to ask for help.
  • Work smarter, not harder.
  • Learn how to handle chronic illness.
  • Mind infections.
  • Be aware of your mental health.
  • Take on a long-term exercise program.
  • Follow the general rule of progression.
  • Learn how to take on new activities.
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The ultimate checklist to handle hypermobility

Learn when to ask for help

Things like gardening, snow shoveling, and home remodeling tend to be many hours over a short time and are hard to gear up for. Tasks that are very hard on your body are those you want to outsource or ask a friend/family to help you.

For handling hypermobility, you should not be ashamed of asking for help. Think of it this way; it is in everyone’s interest to pace yourself and reach out for help; no one wants you to flare up.

On the other hand, while support for more extensive activities can be helpful, avoiding all activities is also detrimental. Stay connected and active in your family, and remember you can do lots of things, so don’t give up on the things you can do.

Work smarter, not harder

Adjust your office set up, car, and kitchen to make things as easy on yourself as possible. There are always ways to make your daily activities more accessible and safer.

Push yourself in your exercise, where you can control how much more you do. Your focus should always be on living as high a quality of life as possible.

Learn how to handle chronic illness

Chronic illness affects those with autoimmune disorders, other medical issues such as diabetes, nutritional problems, and neurologic disorders, which can negatively impact hypermobility. These complex issues can make it harder to address hypermobility due to their effects and require more significant intervention.

Nutrition can be a factor for some, but not for all. There is always a physical hierarchy, and one of the main concepts and surviving versus thriving.

If your body is working on surviving, you will not be able to thrive, where you do all the fun and exciting things in your life. You need to make sure you have good overall health first, or you will find limited success with the things in this program.

Mind infections

Infections can also put a hold on your progress. This could be anything from a cold to pneumonia to an abscessed tooth.

If your body is busy fighting infection, you won’t see as much progress in other areas and it will be harder handling hypermobility. Always be sure to manage this first.

Be aware of your mental health

Don’t forget about taking care of your mental health. Give yourself space and an option to improve. Getting help with counseling if you are struggling will also pay off physically.

I don’t mean your symptoms are in your head; far from it. If you are struggling with severe depression or anxiety, it is harder to do what you need to improve your physical symptoms.

After living with long-standing symptoms, fear can be a huge barrier to starting something new or changing the way you do something. Counseling can be a way to work through this one step at a time and overall handling hypermobility.

Take on a long-term exercise program

A long-term exercise program is not only recommended but is a must to continue to improve. Decide what will work best for your personality and your lifestyle. If you want to use a gym, use a gym. If you would instead do classes or videos at home, then choose that option.

It is more important that, whatever you do, you can stick to and progress slowly. Start with movements you can control, avoiding impact or sudden changes in direction.

Making giant leaps forward almost always results in an upcoming backward slide, so force yourself to shoot for steady, gradual progression.

Can you do more this week than last week? Often as you look backward, you see how far you have come.

Follow the general rule of progression

Perform exercises 4-5 days a week, allowing you to alternate program sets to minimize time and soreness and maximize the effect. Build your strength and endurance over time gradually. You can adjust this program up or down based on your current fitness level.

Focus first on correct mechanics, increasing your reps, and finally improving your weight or resistance. Always in this order. Never increase reps and weight on the same day; your goal is a 10% change per week in one area, not all areas.

One area would be either repetitions, resistance or amount of weight, time of doing something, speed, or incline. Pick one, not all. Try to focus on consistency rather than progressing a particular exercise.

Being consistent will always make more significant gains than the best single workout.

Learn how to take on new activities

As you return to an activity or start a new one, you will have to apply the same principles and think about how you are doing it to ensure you are staying within your guidelines.

For example, say you want to return to playing golf. It is an activity that uses speed and rotation, which can be harder on your body but doesn’t involve impact.  

To do this, you must first feel like you can manage your symptoms. Then, you must ensure you can control the movements necessary for your desired activity, in this case, rotation. Start working through the swing movements in your living room, where you aren’t tempted to move too fast.  

Start with the part of the activity with the least amount of strain and work on your control. Then move up to the next step, focusing on these complex movements with 50% effort. Note: this is not 100%. 

If you feel successful at 50%, next time, try for 75%. Then try for the 3rd time and work into your 100% effort. Feel good? then you are ready to return to regular activity. 

Notice it takes some effort, but you can do it if you are motivated and it is something you enjoy or want to do. 

If you are looking for Hypermobility resources, feel free to check out my blog.

Are you looking to manage your Hypermobility symptoms?

Check out the Hypermobility Solution, the Hypermobile Neck Solution, and Hypermobility 101.

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About Kate

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Kate Skinner is a Doctor in Physical Therapy, co-founder of Great Divide Physical Therapy, and creator of Hypermobility Solution.

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