Hypermobility and Joint Pain

Unexplained joint pain is a very frequent experience for neurodivergent people.

This may be accompanied by hypermobile joints too, and other symptoms such as fainting spells/seizures, gastric issues, breathing issues, dizziness and a racing heart beat.

The pain and discomfort can be persistent, permanent or intermittent. It can be that there is no obvious ‘cause’ found.

Chronic pain can be hugely debilitating

both a physical and psychological perspective, especially when it is medically ‘invalidated’. For people who were previously active and enjoyed physical movement/exercise, the pain and instability associated with these conditions can lead to dysregulation.

Without formal medical identification, those who experience it are often undermined and overlooked, and expected to participate fully in activities where their pain is made worse.

Recent and current research identifies a strong correlation between being neurodivergent and some conditions that are considered ‘rare’, but are very common in autistic and other neurodivergent people.

These include Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome), and Endometriosis.

The links are not yet clearly understood, and further research is being undertaken.

Further information

The NHS website lists a number of other co-occurring conditions that affect autistic people and recommend visiting your GP if these might be applied to you or someone you care for:

Other conditions that affect autistic people

The article below has the following introduction and might be useful for parents/carers in supporting young people who develop pain.

‘All joints have varying ranges of movement. Ligaments and muscles provide a joint with stability and allow movement. Children who are hypermobile have too much movement around their joints. The looseness of the supporting structures lead to joint instability. Excess movement may cause brief discomfort, pain and swelling. A growth spurt, lack of exercise or an accident can increase symptoms. If there is an underlying reason for joint hypermobility, this will be investigated by the doctors. Therapy advice will remain the same, regardless of the reason for the hypermobility.’

Hypermobility in Children – from the NHS website

The School Toolkit for EDS and Hypermobility is available here:


Current research findings linking these conditions with being neurodivergent