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My clinical observation of hypermobility with Hashimoto's with Dr Emily Kiberd
Episode 12429th September 2022 • Thyroid Strong • Emily Kiberd
00:00:00 00:12:06

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Episode Summary

From my clinical observations, I’ve noticed an element of hypermobility in my autoimmune ladies, especially those with Hashimoto’s. Adding weight training into their routines has shown signs of improving joint integrity. Listen in to hear my approach to reducing hypermobility in my patients with Hashimoto’s. 

Key Takeaways 

A lot of women come to Thyroid Strong because they want to safely introduce strength training into their routine and build muscle. One of the added bonuses is that strength training creates a more stable base and helps heal joint laxity. I know it will feel challenging at first to let go of massage therapy, foam rolling, and yoga, but if you replace it with resistance and strength training for six weeks, I’ve seen my Hashi ladies experience amazing mobility progress. 

Identifying hypermobility

As a chiropractor, I look at what’s not moving enough and what’s moving too much. We test the flexibility of the joints using the Beighton score, which checks 10 different points in the body and it grades it from a mild to severe. We look at their knees, elbows, and fingers through simple screening tests like forward bending. 

Starting to reduce hypermobility 

For patients I've seen who only walk, once they start to add resistance training, they actually feel better when they're walking because they have more muscle on the bone and joint integrity. They actually feel more grounded and stronger in their body. By integrating 20 to 30 minute kettlebell strength routines three times a week, it helps build the muscle mass that’s needed to slow down the progression of joint laxity. 

In This Episode 

Emily talks about the trend in hypermobility that she’s noticed at the clinic. [ 0:56 ]

Emily explains how professionals screen for hypermobility. [ 4:48 ]

Emily shares how to start reining in hypermobility. [ 6:38 ]

Emily says, “If there's one thing I recommend, it’s to dial back the desire for more mobility and start to create stability.” [ 9:41 ]


“If a joint is moving too much, you want to actually create stability and rein in that movement instead of adding more movement.” [2:21]

“I don't want someone to be triggering their autoimmune symptoms, but I also want someone to be able to feel strong and stable in their body, especially if they struggle with that hypermobility component.” [4:01]

“When integrating resistance training and strength training, I typically start with kettlebells because they are very forgiving when you're first learning.”  [7:44]

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Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • What hypermobility looks like 
  • My observations about the possible link between Hashimoto’s and hypermobility 
  • Signs of joint laxity 
  • Why strength training is so important for reducing hypermobility 
  • My approach to integrating weight training into your routine 

Follow Dr Emily Kiberd:

If you want more information on the 5 day Hashi Consistency Workout Challenge starting Monday September 29th, join for free here.

If you’re looking to lose weight with Hashimoto’s:

If you’re looking to beat the Hashimoto’s fatigue:

If you want to learn more about 3 things NOT TO DO in your workout if you have Hashimoto’s and WHAT TO DO instead:

If you want to dive right into Thyroid Strong online workout program:


Emily Kiberd:

If there's one thing I recommend dial back the release the desire for more mobility and start to create stability. The best way to do that is by picking up a weight

Emily Kiberd:

What's up lovely ladies Dr. Emily hybird. Here with thyroid strong podcast, I am a chiropractor, a mama to Elvis and Brooklyn and I have Hashimotos what is currently in remission? On this podcast I share simple actionable steps with a little bit of tough love on how to lose that stubborn weight, get your energy getting your life back and finally learn how to work out without burning out living with Hashimotos

Emily Kiberd:

What's up lovely lady is Dr. Emily Khyber here with the shorty episode. So I wanted to share my clinical observation that I've noticed working with ladies with Hashimotos in the clinic seen 1000s of patients also on my own body and also working with women online, but much easier to assess in person. So I have noticed from a clinical observation, this element of joint hypermobility in my autoimmune ladies, this element of joint laxity, the joints are not creating integrity, and they're a little sloppy. And as a chiropractor since 2007. A lot of chiropractors look for what is not moving, right, but it's not moving enough. And then we do an adjustment. A good chiropractor will also look at what is moving too much from a joint perspective from a range of motion, active range of motion, passive range of motion from a muscular stretch perspective. So I look at what's not moving enough and what's moving too much. And why do I look for that because if something's moving too much, you don't want to add more mobility, like foam rolling, like static stretching, like yoga, like massage, because if something is moving too much, and you put that joint or muscle on a stretch or release, now you're asking it to move even more. So if it's moving too much, you want to actually create stability and rein in that movement instead of adding more movement. So some common mistakes that I see with the Hashi ladies is if they do experiences hypermobility, they want a massage like Doc teach me how to foam roll this area should I put a ball a lacrosse ball in the back of my calf to release a trigger point and some of the common mistakes that conventional medicine or functional medicine Doc's make with exercise recommendations for these women with Hashimotos that do have hypermobility are a movement and exercise recommendation that includes walking, which I'm all for walking from a cardiovascular perspective, but I'll talk about why it's not great as the only exercise for the ladies with hypermobility, low impact exercises, a common recommendation yoga, Pilates swimming, which would be low impact none of those Feed The Muscle, right with Hashimotos we need muscle on the bone muscle is our metabolic engine. It secretes Myo kinds, which are proteins which have been shown to help regulate our hormones as well as our immune system.

Emily Kiberd:

And so when we make the exercise recommendation for the Hashi ladies to only walk, only do low impact exercise only do yoga Pilates, I think it comes from a place of not wanting to overdo it not wanting to make a recommendation for a woman where they might push themselves into a Hashimotos flare up where they have more brain fog. They have more joint pain. They feel like they can't get out of bed for three days. But I'm all for that too. I don't want someone to be triggering their autoimmune symptoms, but I also want someone to be able to feel strong and stable in their body, especially if they struggle with that hypermobility component. And so I look at the Hashi crew, the Hashimotos women through this rehab lens, what's moving too much, what's not moving enough what's contributing to joint pain, muscle aches, obviously, there's an element of hypothyroid and underactive thyroid that can contribute to the joint pain and muscle aches because every metabolic process in our body requires thyroid hormone, including our muscle tissue, very expensive tissue metabolically, so if something is moving too much, if there's hypermobility, joint laxity, sloppy joints, you want to create stability, you want to create joint integrity,

Emily Kiberd:

but first how do we identify this in the physical therapy world we use a beaten score, and it checks for 10 different points in the body, and it grades it from a mild moderate to severe but we're checking for these points. If you looked at someone standing from a profile from a side view, do their knees hyperextend. Like do the knees travel back behind the ankles. So you can also check this point laying flat on the table passively, and just lifting the ankle off the table. So having someone else lift the ankle off the table, and seeing there should be about five to 10 degrees of extension beyond zero, which would be the heel on the table. But does the knee extend five to 10 degrees, that's normal, and then does it extend even more, that would be a sign of hypermobility, we check the elbows. So do the elbows hyperextend. Typically the shows up in the top of a plank, or in a down dog. If you're in yoga class, that instructor will come around to you and always be like, hey, put a little bend in your elbows. Maybe because they are hyperextending, you can bend the pinkie, back past 90, that's a sign of joint laxity and then taking your thumb and pressing it to the soft part of your forearm. If you could touch your thumb to your forearm, again, sloppy joints. The last piece is if you stood with your knees straight and you bent forward knee straight, could you put them on the floor that is actually probably every Yogi's dream, who's in a yoga class a yoga instructor, but that's actually too much laxity or stretching the hamstrings, you should be able to touch the floor with your fingertips or fingertips even an inch above the floor. But Paul me put your whole hand on the floor with your knees straight and Forward Bend is actually a sign of hypermobility. So those are the points that you check for the Beighton score.

Emily Kiberd:

So how do we start to rein in this hypermobility? Well, I have every woman got their thyroid checked full thyroid panel, also checking for the two antibody tests, as well as any sort of autoimmune serum factors are a factor for rheumatoid arthritis. There's others. We'll talk about that in another podcast with the guest on bloodwork. But how do you start to rein it in resistance training, strength training, picking something up with amazing form, using a proper breath? And brace the brace being? How do you engage your core to stabilize the joint so you're not using the joints, compression or compressing the joints? such that it can cause pain, especially in the low back? How do you create that tank of strength in the belly, so that when you lift, there's good integration, you're using the muscles and you're stacking the bones, I usually take out people's yoga practice, sometimes I feel like I'm taking another soul. It's only for a short time, usually six weeks, four to six weeks, and integrating resistance training strength training, typically with kettlebells because they are very forgiving when you're first learning form three times a week 20 to 30 minutes. So the joint laxity from a passive, like if you moved the joint passively, someone else moved your knee into extension for you that joint hypermobility and laxity will still be there, even with resistance training, but it might dial it back and might be less. And as you're moving through the world, like you're walking, you're gonna have more integrity in the joints. So for people who patients I've seen, who only walk, and then I start to add resistance training, they actually feel better when they're walking because they have more muscle on the bone, they have more muscle mass, they have more joint integrity that joints aren't so sloppy, and they actually feel more grounded, they feel stronger in their body. So this is a clinical observation for the women with Hashimotos that I've worked with in the clinic, because I'm looking at the Hashi ladies from a rehab pain movement lens.

Emily Kiberd:

So if I make one recommendation, if these points come up in the body that we mentioned that are picked up by a beaten score, let go of the stretching the foam rolling the yoga, the massage, I know it will feel challenging at first because everything will feel tight. But if you then search replace it with resistance training, strength training, just try it for four weeks, six weeks under guidance. This is one of the reasons why I created thyroid strong. A six week online workout program for the Hashi ladies is because I was seeing these women come in they were doing yoga was a child poses lots of just down regulating the nervous system to get out of that fight or flight. But they weren't feeding the muscle and when I put them on a resistance training program, they felt so much better and they still keep it up, which I love.

Emily Kiberd:

If there's one thing I recommend dial back the release the desire for more mobility and start to create stability. The best way to do that is by picking up the weight. If you want to learn more, check out thyroid strong. It's my signature program. For the Hashi ladies on how to learn Learn to workout without the burnout. But even one of the bigger goals that women are coming into the program thinking I want to be more stable in my joints, but the program does exactly that it makes you stronger, makes you more stable in your joints which takes away the pain and just makes it so much easier to move through the world. Alright ladies, so check in the show notes for the link for the thyroid trim program. Hope to see you on the inside. I hope this helps. If you enjoy this podcast, go to iTunes subscribe, rate and review and I'll see you next episode.

Emily Kiberd:

If you enjoyed this episode or even learned just one new piece of information to help you on your Hashimotos journey. Would you do me a huge favor, rate and review thyroid strong podcast on iTunes, Spotify or whatever platform you used to listen to this podcast and share what you liked. maybe learn something new. And if you didn't like it, well shoot me a DM on Instagram Dr. Emily hybird I read and respond to every single DM I truly believe all feedback is good feedback. Even the ugly comments if you're interested in joining the thyroid strong course a home workout program using kettlebells and weights where I teach you how to work out without the burnout. Go to Dr. Emily forward slash T s waitlist you'll get all the most up to date information on when the course launches and goes live special deals and early access bonuses for myself and my functional medicine doctor friends again Dr. Emily forward slash T s weightless hope to see you on the inside ladies





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