Beighton score is a test that detects joint hypermobility syndrome. The test uses a nine-point scoring system that measures the flexibility of certain joints. A positive Beighton score means you likely have joint hypermobility syndrome. Joint hypermobility syndrome may indicate other health problems that need further testing.
The Beighton score is a test that measures joint hypermobility (flexibility). It involves simple maneuvers, such as bending your pinky (little) finger backward to check the joint angle. The Beighton score uses a nine-point scoring system. The higher your score, the more flexible your joints are.
The test examines the following joints:
The Beighton score is a standard test used to help diagnose joint hypermobility syndrome, a common syndrome. About 3% of the general population has joint hypermobility syndrome.
Many healthy people have hyper-flexible joints, but joint hypermobility syndrome may come from an underlying condition. It’s associated with heritable connective tissue disorders (HCTD), including:
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Your healthcare provider gently maneuvers your joints into certain positions. Using a nine-point joint mobility scale, you get one point if you can:
The second part of the Beighton score involves questions about your history. Your healthcare provider asks you about your joint mobility and any joint pain. Each “yes” answer is one point:
Your healthcare provider tallies up your points. You could have joint hypermobility syndrome if you either:
Your healthcare provider asks you to move your joints into certain positions. You may have to lie down or sit in a chair to perform the maneuvers. The test should only take a few minutes, and you should not feel pain.
There are no risks or side effects associated with the Beighton score.
A positive Beighton score for joint hypermobility syndrome is either:
The higher your number, the higher the laxity of your joints. Positive results on a Beighton score test mean you likely have joint hypermobility syndrome. But this syndrome is sometimes a result of other underlying conditions. Your provider will talk to you about the next steps, which will most likely be more testing to figure out any other condition you may have.
The Beighton score itself can’t diagnose EDS, Marfan syndrome or osteogenesis imperfecta. It’s part of a series of tests to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
You should know the results of the Beighton score immediately. Your provider can calculate the results as you complete each part of the test.
Ask your healthcare provider:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
The Beighton score is a simple test you do in your provider’s office to check the flexibility of your joints. The closer your result is to nine on the hypermobility scale, the more flexible your joints are. If you have joint hypermobility syndrome, you may need more tests — underlying conditions can cause this syndrome. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best next steps or any additional testing you may need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/14/2022.
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