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At Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation our physical therapists blend their expertise with empathy in the realm of joint hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). As specialists in this field, we pride ourselves on offering personalized care tailored to each individual. Understanding the complexities of managing these complicated conditions is key to the rehabilitation process. We are proud of our success in helping our patients by bringing a wealth of experience to the table and are dedicated to enhancing their quality of life.

Understanding Joint Hypermobility 

Joint hypermobility is when the joints move more than what is considered “normal.” If you’ve ever been called “bendy,” “double-jointed,” or just very flexible, you may be hypermobile. Hypermobility can be harmless and is sometimes a natural characteristic of a person’s body. However, if it is related to pain, injuries, or health issues, it may be determined that there is a Hypermobility Syndrome, Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS).

Connective tissue disorders, including EDS, are caused by genetic changes that impact the structure of connective tissues including tendons, ligaments, bones, skin, internal organs, and blood vessels. These genetic changes may cause joint sprains, subluxations or dislocations, where a joint “pops out of place.” Frequent muscle and joint pains may be related to the instability of the joints. Impaired proprioception is also common, which means it is more difficult to tell where the limbs are in space, contributing to feelings of clumsiness and discoordination. This decrease in body awareness also contributes to an increase risk of injury and difficulty engaging muscles properly, which makes strengthening challenging. In addition to musculoskeletal symptoms, you may notice other signs and symptoms like stretchy skin, easy bruising, headaches, migraines, light-headedness, dizziness, fatigue, numbness and tingling, digestive issues, vision problems, and anxiety.

We Can Help

  • Joint and muscle pain (Sacroiliac/pelvis, ribs, back, neck, hips, knees feet, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands)
  • Joint instability
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Postural abnormalities
  • Weakness
  • Feeling uneven when walking
  • Balance deficits

How We Treat Hypermobility Differently

Traditional physical therapy interventions are often too intense for patients with hypermobility conditions. Physical therapists who are not familiar with these diagnoses may use manual therapy techniques that are too aggressive or do not address specific tissue restrictions, and they may prescribe strengthening exercises that overstress tissues. Our physical therapists at Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation understand the needs of the hypermobile patient and provide a customized combination of manual therapy and stability exercises that works with your body, not against it. The personalized approach taken by our physical therapists allows treatments to be tailored to each person’s unique needs for long-term improvement.

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Our sessions include:

  • Comprehensive evaluation
  • Assess for other common conditions, such as POTS
  • Manual therapy to address specific tissue restriction
  • Low-impact, low-intensity joint stability program
  • Proper cueing to achieve correct muscle activation
  • Education and cues for normal movement and joint ranges
  • Education on the nature of your condition
  • Education to reduce stress to your joints
  • Slow progression for successful outcomes
  • Working towards your specific goals

Our Unique Approach

We are proud of our success in helping patients with hypermobility, including those who have failed physical therapy elsewhere or who feel hopeless. We enhance the patient’s understanding of their condition and improve their quality of life.

We also recognize that the increased hypermobility has benefits and challenges in achieving positions and movements required for dance and gymnastics. Please see our dance page by clicking here. This specialized physical therapy treatment is offered exclusively in our Irvine clinic. We can be reached at (949) 750-8499.

We look forward to the opportunity to help you.

Meet Our Irvine Specialists

Ann Ludolph, MPT, OCS
Ann Ludolph, MPT, OCS

Specialties:

  • Ortho & Neuro Rehab
  • Vestibular Disorders & Concussion
  • Hypermobility & EDS
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Balance, Gait & Posture

Ann, a southern California native, became interested in physical therapy following a soccer injury that landed her in the athletic training room in high school. She worked alongside the athletic trainers, performing taping techniques and exercises for a variety of athletes and injuries,

which sparked the love and passion of helping others recover from injuries and have positive influence in improving quality of life. In 2010, she graduated Cum Laude from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology, Exercises Science. She continued on at CSULB, receiving her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy in 2013. Furthering her education and skills in the treatment of neuromuscular issues, she completed an advanced concussion management course at the prestigious Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago. Ann has experience with coaching soccer which has assisted her in communicating with clients and improving movement patterns to reduce stress to painful joints. Ann enjoys playing soccer, rock climbing, hiking, traveling and eating.

Anna Reiser, DPT
Anna Reiser, DPT

Specialties:

  • Dance Injury Prevention & Rehab
  • Sports Injuries & Orthopedics
  • Movement Disorders
  • SI Joint Dysfunction
  • Joint Hypermobility/EDS

A native of South Orange County and lifelong dancer, Anna earned a double major at UCI with a BS in biologic science and a BFA in dance performance combining her passions for biology and dance. She completed her doctorate of physical therapy at the nationally ranked University of Northern Arizona.

While at NAU, Anna studied the connections between connective tissue disorders, hypermobility syndromes, and dance injuries for her capstone project, sparking an ongoing interest that she has carried into her current practice.

Anna attended Aliso Niguel High School and danced at the Maple Conservatory in Irvine. She continued her training and performing in the dance department at UC Irvine. For her senior thesis at she choreographed an original dance concert inspired by a class she took in neurobiology of learning and memory.

In her freshman year of high school, she developed an interest in biology and wanted to find a career to combine that with her love of dance. UCI, which has a highly regarded dance program, offered her that opportunity with a double major. She has always been fascinated by the movement of the human body and began learning more about physical therapy as an aide during college. After graduation, she knew for sure I wanted to be a PT to help people decrease their pain, learn more about their bodies, and return to doing the things they love.

She says her favorite discipline is ballet, but she has also been trained in modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, and musical theatre. A highlight of her training was attending the Radio City Rockettes summer intensive program in New York City. She continues to take dance classes when able. During her time in Flagstaff, obtaining her DPT she was able to teach dance classes and hopes to continue that effort with lectures and instructions on dance injury prevention and rehabilitation.

In addition to dance, Anna will provide treatments for orthopedic and sports injury rehab, chronic pain, SI joint dysfunction along with neurological rehab for movement disorders. With a teamwork approach to her patients, she feels it’s important to understand their goals in the rehab process and designing personalized treatment plans.

“I believe in listening to a patient’s story and treating them as a whole person, not just their impairment,” she said. “I see the patient and therapist as a team, working together to identify the problems and then finding creative solutions. It’s important for the patients to feel better and understand their pain and how they can take an active role in their recovery.”

Note: This video was shot with Moira Docherty, DPT, who has gone on hiatus from treating physical therapy patients. The information remains informative and relevant. Moira was a part of the Progressive PT family for many years and remains a close friend and resource.

We Succeed Where Others Fail

We are Here to Help Get You Started to Better Health.
Contact us Today!

Garden Grove/
Orange:
714.643.9012

Costa Mesa/Newport Beach:
949.631.0125

Irvine/Lake Forest:
949.750.8499