The causes of HSD are varied – some affect collagen while others affect joint shape. It can be inherited or acquired (for example caused by injury).

Below are some potential causes:

Inheritance - As yet there isn’t enough research to confirm exactly how hypermobility is inherited. There may also be environmental and constitutional factors. In some families there may only be one affected individual, or small clusters of individuals. In other families the traits may be traceable back for generations.

In some people it may be due to ligaments or muscles being longer than average - allowing more flexibility, but without the tissue being more fragile.

Injury – Injuring or overstretching joints and ligaments can cause hypermobility in those joints. This is not unusual in sports people, and may affect multiple joints in, for example, gymnasts and dancers. (lHSD is common in these populations)

Overuse – repeatedly stressing a particular joint can cause that joint to become hypermobile. For example massage therapists becoming hypermobile due to applying repeated pressure through their hands.

Surgery – surgery may cause a weakness in the surrounding tissues leading to hypermobility.

Musculoskeletal malformation – for example shallow sockets which allow a wider range of motion as well as the potential for easier dislocation.