Chronic widespread pain and neurophysiological symptoms in joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS)
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Journal: International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Background: Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) is a multisystemic connective tissue disorder characterised by pain, tissue fragility and laxity. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of chronic widespread pain (CWP) and the extended neurophysiological features reported by a group of patients with JHS. Methods: Ninety patients with JHS (mean age 34.7 ± 9.9 years), which was diagnosed in accordance with the Brighton criteria, and 113 healthy volunteers (mean age 35.7 ± 12.9) with no musculoskeletal pain participated in the study. A self-report questionnaire and pain chart were employed to collect data. Results: CWP was reported by 86% of patients with JHS. The mean number of pain sites in this group was 9.8/17 ± 4.2. Fibromyalgia was reported by 19% of this group. Patients with JHS were significantly more likely to report the following than healthy volunteers: autonomic symptoms (70%, 12%); gastrointestinal symptoms (71%, 9%); and chronic fatigue syndrome (31%, 1%). Patients with JHS reported significantly higher mean functional difficulties scores (22.28 ± 4.90) than healthy volunteers (17.96 ± 3.73) (P<0.001), indicative of functional difficulties associated with developmental coordination disorder/dyspraxia. Conclusion: Patients with JHS reported a wide range of neurophysiological symptoms of which CWP was a salient feature. There is a need to acknowledge and understand the extended symptoms associated with CWP in order to address the holistic needs of patients with JHS. Further studies and discussion are required to identify the complex inter-related multifactorial neurophysiological mechanisms in those with JHS. © 2014 MA Healthcare Ltd.