I’ve spent more time in my life, feeling achey and sore in my joints, than not… and that is pretty normal day-to-day life for me but perhaps not the ordinary person.
Hi, my name is Francesca and I suffer with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome 💁🏻♀️
Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) is a pretty common umbrella of syndromes, and there is almost 1 in 5 people that may have hypermobile joints (see here!)
Some people can go huuuge periods of their life, before even knowing or being formally diagnosed – I wasn’t formally diagnosed until the ripe old age of 19, even though I had been in and out of physiotherapy from 8 years old.
The older I get, the more aware I am of my joints. The more I know what triggers the pain, what I can do to try and prevent it, plus how to recover from the days where it’s just too much.
It is something that I have found difficult at times – most recently being when my neck started to crack. Now my joints crack a whooooole bunch. I frequently get told ‘You’ll get arthritis if you carry on!’. But let me tell you – I know that I need to crack my joints sometimes. I can literally feel pressure building, to the point I need to crack or I will be in pain for days and knots will appear out of nowhere.
When my neck started cracking, that was a whole different ballpark. It was painful when the pressure built and then painful to actual crack and release pressure. Plus the added fun factor of if you crack your neck incorrectly, you could die – fun fun fun! 👍🏽
So you take preventative measures – you exercise, you move daily, you make use of painkillers when needed. My issue is, at the ripe old age of 24 (yes, 24, so incredibly old that I’m basically a grandma 👩🏻🦳) I was leaning more heavily on painkillers that I would have liked. But I was doing everything else I’ve been told in my life – everything that every doctor, nurse or specialist has recommended to me.
So I took myself to get checked out, begged and pleaded for a specialist appointment – to be told there’s nothing else they can do. It’s pretty disappointing at such a young age but it’s not gonna hold me back. I have a great support network of people who are able to pull me back to reality. My other half has been my rock, especially at times where I’ve felt so frustrated I cried.
The whole point of this post is not just for me to splurge all over the page, but to raise awareness. There is 1 in 5. 1 in 5 people suffering that perhaps have no diagnosis, no awareness and just live in constant pain.
I’d like to drop a little video here – it helped me explain my JHS to my other half when we first started dating… go ahead and watch, then come back here!
It’s so hard to just put it down to achey joints – there are so many symptoms that are linked to JHS and so many other factors to consider that perhaps wouldn’t be on your radar. And why would they be? Things like fatigue, the ability to bruise easily and flat feet are not exactly what is top of my list when I think of joints. But it’s so important to be aware, and for you to be aware! You could be reading this right now thinking, woah this makes a whole world of sense!
And if this achieves anything, I hope it achieves that. I hope it sparks discussion and makes you think! And if you are ever wondering or simply curious – I’m happy to answer questions in the comments ☺️