For a number of years I have explained many times that I believe my Fibromyalgia is a result of my Joint Hypermobility and in this post I talk about it.
My #chronicblog post will also take you to an article by Carol Eustace, an Arthritis and Joint Conditions Expert, who writes for verywell.com and she discusses the connections between Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility.
For anyone that knows me you are all aware of my 20+years anguish of dealing with chronic musculoskeletal problems including dislocations and sublaxations of varying joints alongside awful chronic pain.
I had to wait 20 years to be diagnosed, aged 39, with a genetic health problem called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, now under the classification of ‘Hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD)’ ( it was originally equated to Ehlers Danlos hypermobility / III). I was also diagnosed with a side of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and also Fibromyalgia.
Of course one would expect any joint condition to come along with some kind of chronic pain disorder, especially if it is anything to do with connective tissue disease. I have severe levels of hypermobility due to the amount of joints which are affected from head to toe, and I also am classified with severe chronic pain. The pain consultant after diagnosis classified me as a rare case because of all the illnesses and issues that I have so this article was a good read for me because after I was diagnosed everything started to fall into place and my personal opinion regarding Fibromyalgia became one that included its heavy connection to Connective tissue disorders.
My opinion came about after my Rheumatologist told me before I even got settled in the consultant room that everything I was dealing with from dislocations to the Obstructive bowel disorder, IBS and even Gynae were all because of my Joint Hypermobility Syndrome / Connective Tissue Disorder.
Of course I had already been told that I had Chronic Fatigue problems and sleep issues too as well as being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia with JHS later on.
Crikey!, was my response!!
The Rheumatologist got all that just from looking at 20+years worth of medical history and before he even got to examine me.
It was winter so I was wearing double layers of clothes due to autonomic nervous system (ANS) disorder (as suggested by Neurologist which still hasn’t been investigated due to it not being at the top of my medical problem priority list), so my Rheumy didn’t get to look at my skin because I was immobile. and in a wheelchair, due to recent major surgery and he didn’t think it fair on me to go through the stress of undressing. However, it is noted that I have skin problems too. In fact I have varying types of Psoriasis, even have eczema, Folliculitis and Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) and I’m never free of skin problems and the inflammation and lowered immune system which comes with them and they cause me a lot of pain!
When considering the Tender points of Fibromyalgia as well as the symptoms / illnesses that come with it alongside the Joint Hypermobility Syndrome it was easy for me to see the connection between the two conditions. After all, hypersensitivity to pain is surely to develop after repeated trauma to joints and other connective tissue such as ligaments, cartilage, tendons and muscle…. well what isn’t made of connective tissue???
I must also state that I also had been diagnosed with chronic anxiety & depression in earlier life and underwent varying therapies over the years to learn how to control and manage them, including medications, CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) and an anxiety management programme.
I have also undergone Pain Management too.
This is something that I am sure many of you will in fact relate to
It has also become apparent that I have noise, smell/taste, touch and light sensitivities as well as the temperature sensitivity. All of which have been with me my whole life but I thought it was normal and didn’t know that what I was enduring was in fact different and that they were legitimate, and, real health problems. That’s right underneath it all I’m quite a hypersensitive kind of gal 🙂
Allodynia – Touch
Misophonia – Sound / Noise
Photophobia – Light
Hyperalagesia – Pain
Dysautomnia – Temperature (ANSD)
- Memories of being told off for hugging the gas fire and then needing a million blankets on the bed…. days before central heating and double glazing!
- My brothers spray deodorant choking me for ages and preventing me from getting into the bathroom in the mornings…. small council house!
- Petrol & Diesel fumes choking me at petrol stations and making me nauseous.
- My fear of fireworks because of the loud noise and not being able to cope in very noisy environments.
- Migraines at school because of my photophobic eyes… diagnosed at 16!
- Varying skin complaints caused by the friction of my clothes.
- Finding supermarkets too cold and extremely bright.
- Unable to keep warm, overheating and hating draughty places.
- Vertigo and travel sickness.
My Questions based on my own personal experiences and opinions
One question is – Are the all of the above caused by the Joint Hypermobility, or, Fibromyalgia? Being that my Joint Hypermobility is genetic I am a firm believer that everything including the Fibromyalgia stems from that!
I am fairly certain that all the falls I’ve had; sprains and strains to knees, elbows, shoulders, back and ankles / feet; dislocations / sublaxations; athletics / sports injuries and general wear and tear meets the qualifying criteria for my JHS associated problems to be the causal factor behind my Fibromyalgia. I’m taking a punt at it! Making suppositions based on my medical problems, research, conversations with others and also using a basic logical common-sense way of thinking.
Another couple of questions of mine are…
- Why can’t Fibromyalgia be classed as being a part of Hypermobility Syndromes per se?
- Why can’t Fibromyalgia just be classed as a Connective Tissue Disorder?
These are both questions that I have put to research academies and asked before because Fibromyalgia clearly involves trauma to connective tissue of some sort, nerve fibres /pain receptors just for example and there must be a ‘connective’ connection to Central sensitization too.
Well that is my story and my loosely explained opinion , which will be different to everyone else’s because our genetics are not the same, and neither will be our medical health.
To finish this post I am sharing the following article with you in the hope that you also find it useful to help with understanding how your own Joint Hypermobility and Fibromyalgia may be connected.
Article: Joint Hypermobility and Fibromyalgia Connection – Investigating The Connection
Please note that the EDS classification change of March 15th 2017 means that JHS sits under the title of Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSDs). I wrote this post 7 months ago!
Further Reading / Useful Links:
American College of Rheumatology – Fibromyalgia
Britannica.com – autonomic nervous system
British Skin Foundation –
Carol Eustace ~ www.verywell.com –
(EDS) Ehlers Danlos info site –
FibroFlutters Blog Post – Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia Action UK (Charity) – Home Page
HMSA – Latest news
HMSA (Hypermobility Syndromes Association Charity) –
Journal of the Royal College of Physicians via this FibroFlutters post
Joint hypermobility: emerging disease or illness behaviour? | By: Rodney Grahame, honorary professor | Author Affiliations – Division of Medicine, University College London, UK
NHS Choices –
The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. NCIB >>>>>
Kathleen B. Digre, MD and K.C. Brennan, MD