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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024

2024 Jun

Yale J Biol Med




Chronic Pain and Joint Hypermobility: A Brief Diagnostic Review for Clinicians and the Potential Application of Infrared Thermography in Screening Hypermobile Inflamed Joints.


Ribeiro JAS, Gomes G, Aldred A, Desuó IC, Giacomini LA


Joint hypermobility syndromes, particularly chronic pain associated with this condition, including Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD), present diagnostic challenges due to their multifactorial origins and remain poorly understood from biomechanical and genomic-molecular perspectives. Recent diagnostic guidelines have differentiated hEDS, HSD, and benign joint hypermobility, providing a more objective diagnostic framework. However, incorrect diagnoses and underdiagnoses persist, leading to prolonged journeys for affected individuals. Musculoskeletal manifestations, chronic pain, dysautonomia, and gastrointestinal symptoms illustrate the multifactorial impact of these conditions, affecting both the physical and emotional well-being of affected individuals. Infrared thermography (IRT) emerges as a promising tool for joint assessment, especially in detecting inflammatory processes. Thermal distribution patterns offer valuable insights into joint dysfunctions, although the direct correlation between pain and inflammation remains challenging. The prevalence of neuropathies among hypermobile individuals accentuates the discordance between pain perception and thermographic findings, further complicating diagnosis and management. Despite its potential, the clinical integration of IRT faces challenges, with conflicting evidence hindering its adoption. However, studies demonstrate objective temperature disparities between healthy and diseased joints, especially under dynamic thermography, suggesting its potential utility in clinical practice. Future research focused on refining diagnostic criteria and elucidating the underlying mechanisms of hypermobility syndromes will be essential to improve diagnostic accuracy and enhance patient care in this complex and multidimensional context.