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Beighton Score for Hypermobility

The Beighton Score has been used for many years as an indicator of joint hypermobility syndrome.  Now, it is used more as a clinical tool to perform a quick assessment for generalized hypermobility; however, there are 2 key points to remember according to Hypermobility Syndromes Association’s website:

“i. A high Beighton score by itself does not mean that an individual has a hypermobility syndrome. Other symptoms and signs need to also be present.

ii. A low score should be considered with caution when assessing someone for widespread pain as hypermobility can be present at a number of sites that are not counted in the Beighton score. For example, this can be at the jaw joint (the ‘TMJ’), neck (cervical spine), shoulders, mid (thoracic) spine, hips, ankles and feet.”

How the Beighton Score is calculated: 

– One point if while standing forward bending you can place palms on the ground with legs straight

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– One point for each elbow that bends backwards

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– One point for each knee that bends backwards

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– One point for each thumb that touches the forearm when bent backwards

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A score of 5 or higher out of 9, is considered to be a good indication of hypermobility syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility type.  However, as stated above, the Beighton Score is just a resource for quick assessment of joint hypermobility and is not the sole criteria for a proper diagnosis, nor does it rule it out either.

Additionally, the Hypermobility Syndromes Association’s (HMSA) website states that you can also answer the “hypermobility questionnaire.”  The Hypermobility questionnaire is stated below, per HMSA website:

An answer of ‘Yes’ to 2 or more of the questions gives a very high prediction of the presence of hypermobility. Again, like the Beighton score, this does not mean that the person has a Hypermobility Syndrome.

Can you now (or could you ever) place your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees?

Can you now (or could you ever) bend your thumb to touch your forearm?

As a child did you amuse your friends by contorting your body into strange shapes OR could you do the splits?

As a child or teenager did your shoulder or kneecap dislocate on more than one occasion?

Do you consider yourself double-jointed?”

If you scored higher on the Beighton Score or you can answer yes to most of the questions on the questionnaire, and you are interested in seeking medical care for a proper diagnosis, you can go here to read more or contact Kendra, owner of EDS Patient Solutions, for more guidance.  Usually, people seek a geneticist or call the genetics clinic of a larger institution for proper diagnosis.

Additional resources:

– Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation

– Ehlers-Danlos Support UK

 

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