An exploration of the prevalence of Hypermobility and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome in Omani women attending a hospital physiotherapy service
Background and Objectives: Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) is an inherited disorder of connective tissue. It presents as a condition in which there are neuromusculoskeletal signs and symptoms, including pain, without the inflammatory component of a joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Re-attendance in rheumatology clinics, re-injury and prolonged rehabilitation are also features of JHS. The primary aims of this study were to establish the prevalence of hypermobility and JHS in those attending physiotherapy clinics with neuromusculoskeletal disorders in Oman. Methods: A cross-sectional case control study design was used. The participant population included Omani women, aged 18–50 years, attending physiotherapy services for musculoskeletal complaints. The comparison population comprised women of a similar age and ethnic origin who were staff at the hospital. The primary outcome measures were the Beighton Score and the Brighton Criteria. Results: A total of 184 subjects were recruited into the study. These consisted of 94 in the participant group and 90 in the comparison group. Hypermobility was recorded in 51% of the participant group and 30% of the comparison group. The number of participants with JHS was 55%, while 21% of the comparison group exhibited features of the JHS phenotype without pain. A significant number of participants with JHS were re-attending for treatment compared with those without JHS. Conclusions: This study confirms a high prevalence of JHS among subjects with musculoskeletal signs and symptoms and that re-attendance for physiotherapy treatment is more frequent in subjects with JHS than in those without.