Hypermobility, Brain, Stress and Sports

A few years ago I came to the conclusion that I had to work out for life. First it was because of my knee, which without good muscle support could dislocate. Then because of my brain fatigue, as working out helps me think clearer and release adrenaline from my anxiety. And now I have to work out because of my hypermobility, which I got diagnosed today, as to strengthen the muscles around my joints.

The past few months have been a hell for me. I spent the whole year dealing with issues of acceptance for my condition, figuring out what to do next, and feeling like social care system doesn’t care about me because I don’t have a clear visible condition. But exercise helped a lot.

It was around February that I decided to get serious with exercise again: around 3-6 hours of gym per week including aerobics (cycling, running) and muscle building. Around September I decided to volunteer with welcoming refugees arriving in Southern Sweden. That is when hell started, because all of a sudden I was exposed to many different pathogens from different countries and I also stopped going to the gym so religiously, as I got tired from other activities.

Since September I have been dealing with increased anxiety, as well as my terrible immune system not being able to fight away common viruses. I spent many days on bed rest, and the cycles just got worst and worst. The past two weeks I got a lot of pain on my shoulders, because I have been spending a lot of time on the computer in terrible unrecommended sitting (and lying) positions, ultimately causing me to have shoulder subluxation.

It seems that all is connected. There are indications that “direct and indirect evidence links hypermobility to anxiety and stress-sensitive medical disorders.” – Eccles, et al (2012). It seems that working out is what makes my body function correctly and what I have to prioritise in my rehabilitation and “life after brain fatigue”.

We are a product of our ancestor’s survival. They survived thanks to being able to hunt, forage and build shelter. We are not made to sit in front of the computer, type on machines, sit around all day at home or in the office. We are not made to be static, no wonder sports and working out in general has a big effect on the body, immune system and brain.