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You may have heard of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or EDS, Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder or HSD or hypermobility but not associated it with pelvic pain because you know that it is a connective tissue disorder that also has joint instability and pain. While most hypermobile individuals are aware of the general joint pain and overall postural instability, most people miss the connection between pelvic pain and postural instability. In this blog post, we’ll break down the basics, exploring what hypermobility is, what factors can contribute to pelvic pain, and why the connection between hypermobility and pelvic pain is often overlooked.

What Is Hypermobility?

Hypermobility is a connective tissue disorder that affects all connective tissue in your body and can show up with many faces. In this blog, we are looking at how it can impact the joints and postural stability, and how they contribute to pelvic pain. Imagine driving a car and reaching an intersection; with hypermobility, instead of stopping at a crosswalk, you drive onto the crosswalk, and depending on the spectrum of hypermobility, you may end up in the intersection! This is what extreme range of motion, subluxation of the joint, and dislocation are like.

I recommend you refer to my Hypermobility Collection blogs to understand more about hypermobility.

What Causes Pelvic Pain?

Pelvic pain is a common complaint, affecting both men and women. While infection and issues related to reproductive issues can cause pelvic pain, it is the muscle spasm, lack of synchronicity of the soft tissue, and the misfiring (or relaxation) of the muscles in movement. The last factor, muscle involvement, is the main issue with the bendy population and their postural stability challenge.

Why Pelvic Stability?

The pelvis serves as the foundation for the spine and plays an important role in supporting the body’s weight, movement, and balance. Yet, its significance is frequently overlooked when assessing and addressing pelvic pain. Pelvic stability is the key to a healthy and pain-free pelvis. When the pelvis lacks stability, various issues can arise, including pain and discomfort.

How Is Hypermobility Linked To Pelvic Pain?

Joint stability is a challenge among the bendy population because of the connective tissue involvement.  The pelvic region, being a complex network of bones, muscles, and connective tissues, is particularly vulnerable to instability in hypermobile individuals. This happens as a result of:

  • Joint Hyperextension / Hyperflexion

Hypermobile individuals tend to go beyond the normal range of motion and this impacts the stability of the joint. The soft tissues that are to support stability become the sole provider of support and when the natural design and progression of soft tissue involvement changes, injuries and pain are expected. This unnatural movement puts strain on the surrounding muscles and ligaments, contributing to pelvic pain over time.

  • Muscle Imbalance:

Hypermobility can result in muscle imbalances as certain muscles work overtime to compensate for the lack of joint stability. In the pelvic area, this imbalance can lead to tightness, spasms, and ultimately pain.

  • Connective Tissue Strain:

Serving as a scaffold, connective tissue plays a crucial role in maintaining the shape and integrity of organs while allowing communication between different tissues to provide proper functioning of the body’s complex architecture. The connective tissues that hold the pelvic bones together can get strained due to hypermobility leading to inflammation and pain.

  • Impact On Pelvic Floor Muscles:

You cannot have an unstable pelvis without impacting not only the pelvis but the spine and hips which are connected to the pelvis. You also cannot have issues with the pelvis stability without impacting the muscles outside and inside the pelvis; this includes the pelvic floor which is the floor to the ‘space’ that holds your internal organs such as the intestine, bladder, uterus and ovaries, or prostate. When the whole area is unstable and not strong enough to perform its job, inflammation and pain occur.

The biggest mistake in my opinion is to give medication for pain without addressing the cause, or only work on the muscles of the floor internally, thinking the issue is solved.

Why Is Pelvic Stability Important For Pelvic Pain And Hypermobility?

You can’t fix the ‘floor’ when the ‘house’ is unstable, right? Then how is it that when it comes to the health of the pelvis, hypermobility or not, we don’t attend to the right things first? If you are in pain, sure, take medicine to make your day easier but what are you doing about the cause of your pain? Broaden your focus lens to address the root of the problem which can be more than one factor. The one thing that has to be present is the stability of the structure which has the issue. That is irrelevant to what else is going on and should not be put off because you may have other issues related to the area!

If you have pelvic floor dysfunction, if you are hypermobile, if you have had many doctor visits and are still feeling lost and without understanding what is going on, contact me, I can help. We now have a telehealth coaching option for those far away and overseas.

Dr. Shakib

Recommended Reading:

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction In The HyperMobile Population

What Are The Treatment Options for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?