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Hypermobility in physiotherapy education

My name is Katie, I’m 25 years old from East Sussex. I am currently a third year physiotherapy BSc student at the University of Brighton, expected to graduate in June 2023. I was diagnosed with hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (hEDS) earlier in 2022, after fatigue, joint pain and aches, injuries, scoliosis and GI issues.

In this blog I will be talking about symptomatic hypermobility in physiotherapy education and wanting to specialise in this area once I graduate. Throughout my university education, I have struggled with my studies and ongoing symptoms, but I have had lots of support along the way. Whilst staff and students didn’t really understand hypermobility / Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, they gave me the reasonable adjustments I needed to get through the course.

I have had the amazing opportunity of doing a diverse placement with patients with these conditions and having a recent diagnosis myself, I am passionate about continuing to educate myself, other physios and patients on this topic. Many patients I saw on placement had seen physios without the specialist knowledge of hypermobility, which for some made their symptoms worse. This made me question why isn’t there enough said about this in education and amongst the physio profession. This experience made me feel empowered to become more knowledgeable in hypermobility and this sparked my interest in wanting to be able to specialise as a hypermobility physiotherapist.

However on researching how to become a physio in this role, I felt like I had hit a dead end. I wanted to develop my knowledge in this area but I am unsure how to follow this pathway and specialise once I graduate. With little information online about specialised roles and routes I became desperate to try and find out.

I have contacted a few organisations/ individuals who might be able to give me the advice and not had much success although luckily SEDSConnective have connected with me. Without the contacts, experience and advice, I will not be able to continue to educate myself and help others and follow this career pathway. I feel there is an issue in training about not being able to learn about hypermobility conditions and it was only by fortune that I was able to go on this placement and my own diagnosis.

I am continuing to gather information and explore the field of graduate career options but I am determined that one day I will be able to help patients and spread the knowledge on this condition.

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Unknown member
Aug 09, 2023

Hey, my name is Isabela, I'm 23 years old and I'm also majoring in Physiotherapy, expecting to graduate in December 2024. Your story is pretty similar to mine, the difference is that I live in Brazil and I don't have anyone who can support me, because nobody has the proper knowledge about it. I also want to specialize on the hypermobility syndromes but I have no idea where to go or who to be in touch with. Is there a way we could chat? Or anyone that thinks they could help me out with some advices. Thank you.

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