Exercise with Hypermobility, EDS, and POTS

Physical Therapy

Home » Physical Therapy » Exercise with Hypermobility, EDS, and POTS


Living with hypermobility, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) present unique challenges, particularly when it comes to exercise and physical activity. As a physical therapist, I’ve worked with many individuals grappling with these conditions, and I understand the importance of finding safe and effective ways to stay active. In this blog, we’ll explore the intersection of hypermobility, EDS, and POTS, discuss the benefits of exercise, and offer practical tips for incorporating physical activity into daily life while managing these complex conditions.

Understanding Hypermobility, EDS, and POTS

Hypermobility and EDS are a group of connective tissue disorders characterized by joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility, and tissue fragility. POTS is a form of dysautonomia characterized by an abnormal increase in heart rate upon standing, often accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and fatigue. Both conditions can significantly impact mobility, functional capacity, and quality of life, making exercise management a crucial aspect of care.

Benefits of Exercise

Despite the challenges posed by hypermobility, EDS, and POTS, regular exercise offers numerous benefits for physical and mental health, including:

  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Exercise can help improve cardiovascular fitness, increase blood circulation, and enhance heart health, which is particularly important for individuals with POTS.
  • Increased Muscle Strength: Strengthening muscles around hypermobile joints can improve joint stability, reduce pain, and enhance functional mobility.
  • Enhanced Joint Proprioception: Exercises that focus on balance, coordination, and proprioception can help individuals better control their movements and prevent falls or injury.
  • Mood Regulation: Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and boost mental well-being, which can be beneficial for individuals coping with the challenges of chronic illness.
  • Overall Quality of Life: Engaging in enjoyable and meaningful physical activities can enhance quality of life, promote social interaction, and foster a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.

Practical Tips for Exercise Management

When incorporating exercise into daily life with hypermobility, EDS, and POTS, it’s essential to prioritize safety, pacing, and individualized care. Here are some practical tips to consider:

  • Start slow: When starting exercise, start slow with the intensity, frequency, and volume. See how your body responds and build up from there.
  • Incorporate Strength Training: Focus on strengthening exercises that target major muscle groups, emphasizing proper form, and controlled movements to improve joint stability and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Practice Pacing: Listen to your body and pace yourself during exercise, taking breaks as needed and gradually increasing intensity and duration over time.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate symptoms of POTS.
  • Use Compression Garments: Consider wearing compression garments to help improve blood circulation and reduce symptoms of orthostatic intolerance during exercise.
  • Monitor Symptoms: Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise and adjust your routine accordingly, avoiding activities that worsen symptoms or cause discomfort.
  • Work with Healthcare Professionals: Consult with a physical therapist or exercise physiologist experienced in working with individuals with hypermobility, EDS, and POTS to develop a personalized exercise plan tailored to your needs and goals.

In conclusion, exercise management is a crucial aspect of care for individuals with hypermobility/EDS and POTS, offering numerous benefits for physical and mental well-being. By incorporating safe and appropriate physical activities into daily life and working closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized exercise plan, individuals can improve cardiovascular health, enhance muscle strength, and enhance overall quality of life. With patience, perseverance, and a focus on self-care, individuals with hypermobility/EDS and POTS can navigate the challenges of exercise and thrive.

Looking for a Physical Therapist?

Want to try dry needling? Check out my physical therapy or personal training services if you are interested. Schedule a free consultation here, or just follow along for my free content on Instagram and Youtube.

Free Ergonomic Ebook

Learn how to set up your desk at home or in the office, with links to my favorite products with several options for budgets, or use what you already have!

More from my blogs

Physical Therapy

Strength Training