JHS then… what is it? You now know what hypermobility is, but now it’s time to take it one step further.
Where to start? Hmm..
Well JHS is one type of HDCT, that is, a hereditary disorder of the connective tissues. This makes sense, right? I already explained that hypermobility was caused by “faulty” collagen. However, what I didn’t mention, was that this usually happens more so in the connective tissues around the joints.
On top of this though, people suffering from JHS, or even another type of HMS, will have other symptoms affecting them. Now not everyone with JHS will have the same symptoms, nor will they experience them to the same degree. It is, however, a chronic condition, which means it’s long-lasting. The likelihood is that, although you may not have had JHS from a young age, it is likely to last your lifetime. There is no cure, there is only management techniques.
What are these symptoms, you may ask? Well there’s a whole list of them but I’m certainly not going through the whole list, I might just bore you to sleep! Plus, they are available on various sites (although the NHS website doesn’t give as comprehensive list as it probably could). So I’ll run through some of them.
First, there are the symptoms you might expect from something like this. There’s the joint pain (a lot of it!) and, unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about it. You can take pain-killers (such as paracetamol or cocodamol, which is codeine and paracetamol together) or anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen) but there is still likely to be some underlying pain existent. There’s the increased likelihood of dislocations and sublaxations (part dislocations) and the more it happens, the higher the chances of it are to happen again… see a never-ending circle here? There’s the clicking and popping of joints, which you’ll have experienced at some point, even if you don’t have JHS/arthritis/etc. and then there’s the chronic pain, which, yes, is different to the joint pain we experience. Chronic pain is pain that doesn’t go away, but it also includes different sensations such as shooting, burning, numbness, “pins and needles” type feeling and hypersensitivity.
But then there’s the symptoms that perhaps you might not expect from JHS; I suppose, in some ways, we could refer to them as secondary symptoms. One main one is fatigue; chronic fatigue. Why? The compensation for the extra movement among other things. The fatigue that we experience can sometimes be so debilitating that it can affect our day-to-day life. Can we guess it’s going to happen, like you expect yourself to be tired after a long day, or a bad nights sleep? Not always. Yes we can expect to be a lot more tired if we’ve had a busy day because it requires a lot of extra work to compensate for our extra movement but, essentially, the fatigue we experience comes and goes and follows it’s own abnormal pattern so it could arise at any time. Other symptoms can include chest pains, irregular heartbeat, poor circulation, varicose veins, easily-bruised, slow wound-healing, sleep problems, dizziness/lightheadedness, fainting, collapsing, chronic headaches/migraines. See, I told you the list is endless, and it doesn’t end there either… There’s a whole lot more but some of them I’ll leave for you to read up on yourselves, as some reading this may be too disgusted, and the rest… Well I think you’ve got some sort of an idea what we’re dealing with here.
This condition doesn’t just affect a person physically; it also affects them emotionally – in a big way! Like a lot of other illnesses similar to this, really. I mean, if you catch me on a “JHS bad day” (that’s what I call them) then pfft, you better watch out because I could strike at any time – I don’t mean to, I promise!
So now you’ve got a view of what this condition entails, I hope it helps you to better understand the reasons for setting up this blog and my want of helping other people out there who are affected with this condition, or others like it! I’ll leave you to mull over that and, as ever, I’ll be back soon!