Can we really be double-jointed?

By: Louise Rigby

At some point or another, we have all met or heard of someone who can bend their thumbs or other limbs into bizarre shapes. Quite often such individuals are described as being “double jointed” but is this a real pathology?131The answer is no! But there is a pathology that may explain extremely flexible individuals which have hypermobility syndrome.

Hypermobility syndrome is a condition where an individual is able to move their joints through a greater range of movement than normal. Many individuals can live with hypermobility syndrome problem free. However, some of the symptoms associated with joint hypermobility may include pain, history of dislocations and sometimes poor proprioception. Joint hypermobility can be due to a number of factors such as boney landmarks and ligament laxity.

Within the body are a number of different joints, one is referred to as a ball and socket joint such as the shoulder or hip joint. When the socket of this joint is shallow it provides less stability for the ball of the joint to sit in, therefore allowing a greater range of movement within the joint. Laxity of ligaments can also cause hypermobility. Ligament laxity can be due to a variety of causes such as genetic factors, Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-syndrome.355Fortunately, the Fierce Fit team can help reduce the adverse effects of hypermobility syndrome. Our personal trainers can help increase your muscular strength to support your joints throughout their range of movement. Increasing the muscular strength around hypermobile joints helps by acting as a harness for your joints while also providing stability. Increasing muscular strength can help restrict abnormal range of movement and therefore reduce symptoms such as pain and discomfort while also reducing the risk of dislocations and sprains.

Louise Rigby

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