Double-jointedness (some people refer to it as “hypermobility”) is an expanded capability of a person to have a great range of bodily movements compared to normal people. So, are you double jointed?
The simplest way to know if you are double jointed is by the Beighton Test. This test gives you a list of different bodily movement test:
- Can you touch the floor by bending forward from your waist?
- Can you bend your elbows backward?
- Can your thumb touch your inner arm?
- Can you bend a finger back exceeding the 90 degrees angle?
- Can you bend your knees backward?
Majority of a number of people cannot do even one of the test. If you can at least one of it, you may consider yourself double jointed or hypermobile in that joint area. Being positive of at least 4 of the test puts you in a rare pedestal of people have mastered the skill of being double jointed.
People that are double jointed are probably aware of this since their childhood. Remember during those days where you can do splits, cartwheels, and bending joints, and so on and so forth? You just might actually be double jointed.
Having this ability is may be caused by genetic factors and the amount and arrangement of your connective tissues. Around 10% to 25% of the population all over the world can be double jointed or hypermobile.
Benefits Of Being Double Jointed
There are a lot of perks of being double jointed. For example, if you decided to engage in ballet, being double jointed can be such an advantageous characteristic. The feats and demonstrations you have to achieve in ballet might be easier for you than the rest of dancers.
Being double jointed whilst being a musician is also a plus. You can literally reach to the highest fret of your violin, or reach difficult key turns in a piano.
Double-jointedness is often a trait for some sports enthusiasts especially those sports that test flexibility. People who engage in sports are often double jointed and remains so because of constant rigorous physical practice. Protect yourself from chronic joint diseases by not abusing it.
Engage every once in a while to mild exercises that do not need too much vigorous training. Do your regular stretches every day to maintain your flexibility. Hypermobility might get rusty after a long time if not used. If there are benefits of being double jointed, there can be drawbacks too.
Risks Of Being Double Jointed
If you happen to misuse your hypermobility skill or abuse it, you may have chronic joint pain, arthritis or you may easily dislocate your joint especially on your joint shoulder. Teenagers who are hypermobile may experience joint pains as they grew because of the raging growth spurts a hypermobile child is acquainted with.
Being hypermobile might be hard for some people because most likely than that, having this special skill means being susceptible to joint risks ailments. People with hypermobility have joints that are not stable. Unstable joints usually mean that the joints are susceptible to wear and tear of ligaments and cartilage. Engaging in sports, dancing and all those physically demanding activities might lead you to these risks.
Treatment might usually be in a form of treatment. Have your doctor check on you if you experience such symptoms. In some cases which are mostly rare, people with hypermobility might have hypermobility syndrome. This syndrome might lead to complications which are connective tissue defects, improper bowel movement, asthma, and other health problems. This syndrome is in some cases is treatable by therapy. Therapy includes activities that help in body coordination, balance, and so on and so forth.
Females are most likely to have the hypermobility syndrome survey says. People of older age might have a greater potential of having hypermobility syndrome. Their cartilage and ligaments in their bones are not that new and elastic anymore.
These are the Symptoms of Hypermobility Syndrome:
- Stiffness and pain in the joints
- Clicking sound of joints
- Joints that dislocate easily
- Tiredness all throughout the day
- Recurring sprains
- Digestive System Problems
- Brain fogging or being unconscious (fainting)
- Thinning skin
How To Prevent The Risk of Being Double Jointed?
If you are double-jointed and do not have the symptoms mentioned above, you do not have to check in with a doctor. But if you do, please consult a doctor.
Do Not Abuse Your Double Jointedness
Try not to engage in rigorous activities that stretch your ligaments than normal.
Build Up Your Muscle
People with this condition should build their muscles more than people who have normal joint bending capacity. Muscles help in movement and they also protect our joint from being torn apart.
They can also do the occupational therapy which aims to promote the overall wellness of the person. It is easy to do. You can do it in the comforts of your home every day. An occupational therapist will know your lifestyle and try to create a workaround on what kind of activities you can do.
Occupational therapy can help in the handwriting of children with hypermobility. The therapist will try to change your environment and the tools that you are using to better improve your ability. In time, you will surely get back on your feet again and be independent.
If you have flat feet, chances are, you are hypermobile. It just means that the ligaments in your foot is too loose and your body adds up to the weight it needs to support. Podiatry changes some things in your feet like what kind of shoe you should wear (therapists usually lets you try insoles). This is to prevent knee or ankle pain.
People that are hypermobile are prone to joint pain, especially during winter. Worse, some people do not respond to painkillers. During these circumstances, your doctor might refer you to a pain specialist to give you pain management session. This is good news since you do not need to intake medicine you just need the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).