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A recent study suggests that individuals with hypermobility may be at a higher risk for developing long-term effects of Covid.
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A recent study suggests that individuals with hypermobility may be at a higher risk for developing long-term effects of Covid.

Research indicates that individuals with extremely flexible joints may face an increased risk of experiencing prolonged Covid-19 symptoms and chronic fatigue.


Hypermobility refers to a condition in which a person’s joints have a greater-than-normal range of motion, often caused by variations in the structure of their supportive connective tissues for organs, joints, and other tissues.

Around 20% of adults have hypermobility, which does not necessarily indicate poor health. In fact, hypermobility can have positive effects, as seen in musicians and athletes who possess highly flexible joints. On the other hand, it can also lead to issues like a higher likelihood of experiencing discomfort, exhaustion, joint damage, and gastrointestinal problems.

Dr. Jessica Eccles and her team at Brighton and Sussex Medical School had been researching a possible connection between hypermobility and conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia, which is a condition characterized by body-wide pain. However, their work was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We began considering whether hypermobility could be a contributing factor in ME/CFS and if it could also play a role in long Covid,” stated Eccles.

The individual collaborated with a team of researchers from King’s College London and analyzed information from 3,064 individuals in the Covid symptom study (now the Zoe health study). They aimed to determine if these individuals had hypermobile joints, had fully recuperated from their previous case of Covid, and if they were currently experiencing ongoing tiredness.

According to a study published in BMJ Public Health, individuals with hypermobile joints were 30% more likely to report incomplete recovery from Covid-19 compared to those with normal joints. These individuals also had a higher likelihood of experiencing excessive fatigue.

While there is no definitive evidence that hypermobility is the direct cause of their illness, there is a potential explanation for how it may play a role in certain symptoms, such as fatigue, cognitive impairment, and postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) – a condition in which heart rate escalates upon standing.

According to Eccles, it has been established that there is a strong connection between PoTs and hypermobility. The proposed explanation is that individuals with lax connective tissue in their veins and arteries may experience blood pooling in their tissues when they stand up, exerting extra effort on the heart to pump blood to the brain and leading to symptoms like heart palpitations and lightheadedness.

According to Eccles, it is possible that certain irregularities were preexisting, but that Covid revealed them in a susceptible individual.


She is researching a hypothesis that decreased circulation to the brain may be a factor in causing mental fogginess and exhaustion for certain people. However, there could also be additional explanations.

According to Eccles, hypermobility is linked to conditions including ADHD, autism, ME/CFS, and fibromyalgia, which suggests that fatigue could potentially be a result of this.

The individual emphasized that long Covid is likely not one specific condition, but suggested that further knowledge of its connection to hypermobility could assist in creating new remedies.

According to the researcher, this study indicates that there could be a specific group of individuals with long-term Covid who have a higher predisposition to hypermobility.

“It is crucial to determine this. It is possible that certain measures, such as building and stabilizing the core muscles, may benefit individuals with both hypermobility and pain.”

Source: theguardian.com