Double-jointed (hypermobility)

CARTOON!  In Which I Come Unhinged Again

I have severe Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (sometimes colloquially referred to as “double-jointedness”), which make the osteoarthritis a bit more problematic. Back in the US, I had no diagnosis of what sort of problem this is, aside from the doctor saying that “Yes, you’re hypermobile.” (Well, duh.) That was back before the ACA “Obamacare”, when insurance companies could refuse to cover you for Pre-Existing Conditions, and one reason my doc didn’t pursue a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos was that I would get kicked off my insurance plan.

Now that I’m living in England, I’m awaiting echocardiogram and visit with a geneticist to check for Ehlers-Danlos. Amazing.
Links: Ehlers-Danlos Support UK  The Ehlers-Danlos Society

But for most of my life — and at the risk of sounding odd, I didn’t even realise that I was hypermobile until someone pointed it out to me. I’ve always heard that it’s good to be flexible, and never really had any basis for comparison. But as you can see, I am bendier than the average person. (I also have poor proprioception and bruise easily, hence the dark blodges in the photographs.)

Things like the TMJ (Temporo-mandibular Joint disorder), uterine prolapse, repeated shoulder subluxations, crackly joints, stretchy skin, or even local anesthetic not lasting very long may also be related to hypermobility, but I don’t know that for sure. One of my kids is also rather bendy, so I presume there is a genetic factor to this. See The Hypermobility Syndrome Association (UK) for more information on hypermobility. This link will take you to other posts of mine dealing with hypermobility.

In any regard, here are some pictures so you can better identify possible hypermobility problems.
I should note that you don’t necessarily have to be as bendy as I am — ask your doctor!
I am not licensed to practice medicine (nor do I play one on screen),
so I cannot anwer medical quetions.

Natural finger hyperextension;

Finger hyperflexion with light pressure (palm downwards).

Hyperextensibility of shoulders means always being able to reach that itchy spot …

It also makes gripping a pencil or pen more fatiguing, and therefore penmanship more difficult (even beyond the whole “make a lefty into a righty” issue).

My fingers are also bendable sideways, even over the back of my hand.

One radiologist said I might have arachnodactily because I have such long fingers, and can grasp my wrists like so. (My fingers don’t really look that long in the picture because they’re curled, but they’re so long that I have to buy men’s gloves because women’s gloves are too small for me.)
This photograph demonstrates an indicator of possible Ehlers-Danlos, the Walker-Murdoch sicn, when the thumb encircles the wrist and overlaps the the 5th (pinkie) finger.

My wrist is also over-mobile; I can bend my thumb to touch my arm (it’s uncomfortable, but not extremely painful); this is one of the Beighton indicators for hypermobility,

So is forward flexion, being able to put one’s hands flat on the floor, even with the knees locked.

Yet another indicator is elbow or knee joints that bend further backwards than normal (my elbow is on the underside in this picture).

Beyond the usual hypermobility indicators, I might have some unusual arm rotation; my palm is down, but the inside of my elbow is facing up.

Likewise, my ankles rotate enough that I can turn the soles of my feet sideways, and even put them together (like praying hands) even when my knees are locked

Then there’s the stretchy skin bit, but I won’t go into much detail on that because it grosses people out.

So those are hypermobility. My Ehlers-Danlos considerations come those PLUS repeatedly dislocating joints: should, knee, jaw.


  1. Flower Cat said,

    20 January 2019 at 22:43

    I can do loads of weird stuff which freaks people out. I can twist all of my fingers on both hands(excluding my thumb) so that the tips are touching the base joint on my hand, and keep them that way. On my left hand, I can sometimes bend my thumb so far backwards that it’s touching the thumb bone in my hand. Probably the weirdest one I can do is pop the front of my ribcage in and out again without touching it and with no pain (except when I do it too much, more than 5 times in a few minutes). I always like to freak people out with these tricks XD

  2. Alexia Moser said,

    21 September 2017 at 2:14

    Dude!!! I always thought these things were normal!!! (I can only do six of the things (maybe seven??) of the things shown tho

  3. 2 April 2017 at 21:33

    I can do most of these.. Although they affect my ability to do the sports I like, like gymnastics and dance.

  4. jkwood27 said,

    1 April 2017 at 0:14

    My shoulder can dislocate and relocate at will without any pain and without me touching it

  5. 27 December 2016 at 14:33

    Well though I can only do around 3 quarters of these I have a talent where I can bend my leg basically in half and hold it for a long time also I can cross my arms over and make a sleeve around my shoulder

  6. Feathery Farks said,

    8 December 2016 at 12:54

    Oh I have the shoulder one! I’m easily able to touch that part of my back. Also the really annoying pencil grip thing. I can also wrap my entire hand around my wrists, and bend my pinkie finger across all the fingers without that much help, same with behind. THOUGH I CAN’T BEnD MY FInGERS DOWn TO MY WRIST AT ALL.

  7. lol554 said,

    17 November 2016 at 12:44

    I can touch my wrist with the index finger of the same hand. Is this bad?

    • andrea said,

      17 November 2016 at 13:39

      I am not licensed to practice medicine. If you have any other indicators (signs, abilities), then you should see a rheumatologist for assessment.

  8. Jency Jacob said,

    11 April 2016 at 19:29

    You likely have Ehlers Danlos syndrome

  9. 24 January 2016 at 6:04

    I also have had this my whole life. I also suffer from wide spread chronic pain. I have been in pain since I was 19. Over 20 yrs ago. I have severe bone deteoration, slip disk and have tested positive for fibromyalgia. Wonder if others have this pain. Often is temp relieved from extreme stretching.

  10. Kpl said,

    22 November 2015 at 2:07

    You aren’t alone! I have this too. I didn’t even know it until I went to see a doctor about a sprained ankle. I can do the thumb to arm thing and the doctor was so fascinated I could do it because he had never seen it in person before! I also have lupus.

  11. sskeen6 said,

    1 March 2015 at 6:44

    Have you been tested for Ehlers-Danks syndrome?

  12. 12 February 2015 at 18:21

    […] Double-jointed (hypermobility) | Andrea’s Buzzing About: – 22 September 2012 at 4:28. Hi Andrea, not sure if you still check this site but i too am extremely double jointed. My knees bend backwards. It is actually more …… […]

  13. 11 February 2015 at 23:30

    […] Double-jointed (hypermobility) | Andrea’s Buzzing About: – 22 September 2012 at 4:28. Hi Andrea, not sure if you still check this site but i too am extremely double jointed. My knees bend backwards. It is actually more …… […]

  14. 30 January 2015 at 10:35

    Wow had no idea this was not normal. I mean the thumb part yeah because I had a hard time writing in school. Another student pointed it out when they saw me writing. I loved grossing people out. I also have scoliosis. Witch sucks. I can’t completely make my back I’m the shape of a U. I have everything on this even the legs bending backwards I also prefer staying like that. COol.

  15. 24 October 2014 at 17:04

    Hi, I am 35 and just got diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome today which I am basically told is not a disease but is when symptoms and side effects of hypermobility are present. I never realised I was hypermobile until today. I have always been able to put my hands flat on the floor with knees locked but thought this was due to having a long body and short legs! I can also touch my thumbs to my wrists and reach up to my lower neck when I put my arm behind my back. I am suffering really badly with recurrent leg and shoulder pain and my lower back is so bad I can’t stand up straight until i take about 10-12 steps gradually straightening as i walk. I just had n MRI which showed crumbling of the lower spine but apparently that isn’t related in any way to the diagnosis. It ‘s been so much worse since having my Son 10 months ago. I am told it is more common in women, and can be made worse by using progestogen only contraceptives like certain pills and the coil, of which I’ve had both. It is hereditary, 75% of people with the condition are genetically prone to it. It can also be brought on over time if you are a dancer or gymnast etc. Most people never suffer symptoms and in this case it’s just known as joint hypermobility and not Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. I’m being referred for specialist physio.

    • 24 January 2016 at 6:01

      I also have this. I was diagonosed witb severe bone deterioration at just 19. They said I had the bones of a 90yr old woman . i wonder if it is related to the hypermobility.

  16. 29 September 2014 at 21:31

    I can twist my legs backwards, my knees and ankles can bend sideways and appear like they’re broken. My arms twist around and I have stretchy skin. I’m not sure if it’s related but my chest cavity is larger than normal and I have a very high bone density giving me very strong bones.

    • 1 November 2018 at 22:47

      Same here! I can flip my legs completely backwards, my thumbs can do that weird thing, I can start with connecting my hands on my back like the hyper extended shoulder blade thing, and “Untangle” myself by bringing it above my head to in front of my body. My skin IS stretchy, but Idk if I have this. I was bored and decide to google why I could do these things. Could someone tell me why I can? And if it’s a disease, it it dangerous?

      • andrea said,

        3 November 2018 at 12:04

        It’s a genetic condition and can be associated with health risks. The specialist to see would be a rheumatologist who is familiar with Ehlers-Danlos.

  17. 15 August 2014 at 17:03

    Im in gymnastics, and im double jointed, I was wondering if being double jointed would effect me in gymnastics

    • 24 January 2016 at 6:10

      Just be careful. Because we can bend more, Ive heard we are more susceptible to injury. I know in yoga I had to work on not allowing my body to twist in the “wrong” ways. Had to keep an eye on my elbows in dwdog. Increasing strength is helpful as well as being aware and keeping good focus.

  18. shanlj said,

    27 May 2014 at 6:40

    You most likely have ehlers danlos syndrome..You should go to a geneticist and a rheumatologist to do a few tests.. You need to make sure you do not have Marfans syndrome!!

    • Shaun Fife said,

      25 May 2015 at 20:47

      This guy is exactly right, its one of the types of Ehlers Danlos syndrome most likely. You should see a genetic counselor or clinical geneticist.

  19. Vivi-rose T said,

    7 May 2014 at 0:45

    I can do all of those things (apart from the stretchy skin) but the I’m worried about the thumb against the wrist thing, I can do that with no pain but I can also pust my hand down almost flat against my wrist as well. All of my fingers touch my wrists and I was wondering if anyone else could do that since I haven’t been able to find anything about it anywhere online.

    • Sam Zincone said,

      1 October 2014 at 22:07

      I can do that too ! But I have recent elbow and knee pain plus they won’t stop popping it hurts so bad ! Is that associated with any of this ? I can do almost all those things

  20. 23 February 2014 at 16:01

    Have you gone to a geneticist my friends have EDS Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and can do these things.

  21. Deso said,

    17 May 2013 at 4:34

    Almost every picture applies to me; thank you so much for the demos! My fingers bend backwards, but not as extreme. And my elbow doesn’t pop out like yours. Otherwise, it’s all the same. Thanks so much for an accurate term to use :)

  22. Stephanie said,

    12 March 2013 at 16:29

    At school my classmates always talk about my hands they say im not normal and some say my fingers are broken. I dont realy mind what they say about me. I just think they are jeaoluse of my awsome flexines.
    i dont remember when my fingers starded bending.i do remember when I was little my teachers would tell me to hold my pencil right but my flexines would get in the way so now I have my own way of holding stuff. And I thought I wasnt normal. By the way im 11

  23. Stephanie said,

    12 March 2013 at 6:11

    Cool I can do all of those things exept for the strecy skin and that feet thing I think its cool to be able to do that. I can bend my toes but not all the way. LOL

  24. stacey said,

    2 February 2013 at 4:53

    I just fount your blog and fount it quite interesting. I can do the palm down inside of elbow facing up. i was just wondering if you had ever seen or know information about my legs. When standing i can bend my leg backwards. Its like the knee part is going further back than it should kinda making my leg look like a curved shape?

  25. Regina said,

    22 September 2012 at 4:28

    Hi Andrea,
    not sure if you still check this site but i too am extremely double jointed. My knees bend backwards. It is actually more comfortable standing this way than the “normal” way. I can bend all 10 fingers back and put my thumb behind my hand while making them touch my pinkies. My elbows are flexible and i have jaw aches because i am so flexible. My right hand cannot spread as far as my left. In fact on my right hand i give a “half” thumbs up because my right thumb will not go straight. My problem now is that i find that as i get older, im 23, my knees have been giving me more problems. It even hurts to start to bend them back. Not while they are bent but during the process of bending them backwards. Its frustrating to have to explain to doctors my problem and they just dismiss it as regular joint pain. Others tell me not to bend them backwards but seriously if someone where to tap me on the knee caps then they automatically just go backwards. Do you know of anything or any site that may help in finding relief. I just feel that this type of joint pain is special.

  26. Abi said,

    14 September 2012 at 14:03

    My SON can do most over that and hes only just turn 5 and worries the hell out of my when he wakes up in the night screaming in pain,nothing i can do :( so glad hes got the hospital next month…

  27. Harry said,

    5 September 2012 at 5:59

    Oh and by the way Alanna the twisty arm is a double jointed elbow :)

  28. Harry said,

    5 September 2012 at 5:56

    I a girl aged 9 by the way

  29. Harry said,

    5 September 2012 at 5:56

    I got double jointed elbows finger and I can do the thumb to wrist thing but it hurts slightly I’m not sure if I can do the locked knees standing up flat hands on the floor though I’ll just go try now…
    Not quite. Almost. But My double jointed elbows bends backwards and it soo awesome

  30. Thomas said,

    4 September 2012 at 2:51

    Im 14 and i am doublejointed in 18 totally different places like ill name off a few i can pop my knuckles without my hands touching eachother i can make my pinky toe go 2 inches away from my other ones i can pop my shoulder blades out to where you can put a baseball under them i can do the thumb thing where you lay it on the edge of your arm without my other hand i can take my pinky and lay it flat against the back of my hand i can totally take my leg and twist it around 360° and i can do the thing phelps does with his shoulders

  31. mugwort said,

    19 August 2012 at 23:50

    You mentioned and show illustration of sketchy skin. I read in some of the posting this finding can be part of Ehler Danlos Hypermobility type. What do you think of checking this out? If not anything else there will be name for your bendy joints. OTOH I’m not a physician. I’d feel remiss diagnosing. I became interested in double jointed when I watched several videos of Roy Head 1965 videos performing “Treat Her Right” To make a long story short when I researched “double jointe” I learned the medterm is hypermobility. The adjective hypermobile. Learned of the Beignton scale. There are several genetic syndromes with hypermobility manifestations. Check out Some sites say this condition can be harmless. What I don’t understand how can it be when joints can be easily dislocated:? I wish you well.

  32. peg said,

    13 August 2012 at 1:27

    I always thought being double jointed was cool, my mom was myself, and two of my grandchildren. I have sat Indian style with my knees touching the floor since I was a child, it is my normal sitting position, now that I’m in my 60’s I can barely walk, hands and fingers swell till I can’t bend, ankles etc, suddenly not cool, I live on advill helps a little not much
    I walk up steps one at a time and I don’t walk with the confidence I did at one time and I still catch myself everyday sitting indian style, this is not fun nor is it cool any morre.

  33. mommabeans said,

    30 June 2012 at 17:31

    You probably already know this, but that’s Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

  34. Sonic-Maye said,

    12 June 2012 at 13:05

    U know, theres nothing to worry about really. Its nice that you have flexible body parts while there are some who doesnt. Be contented God Bless

  35. Jess said,

    16 May 2012 at 13:57

    I’ve just been told that my one year old son is double jointed after taking him to a podiatrist because I was concerned that he was walking on his ankle of his left foot. I was told he will have trouble keeping up with other children when running around and that he won’t play football as he would find it difficult to balance. Any info greatly appreciated, thanks

    • J Nodea said,

      18 May 2012 at 19:53

      If there’s no underlying reason for the ankle to be used instead of his foot, and the doctor is certain it’s due to being ‘double-jointed’ then I’d work on finding out how he can stabilize / strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint. I’m not sure that will work, but it’s what my phys therapist has me doing for my neck / shoulders / upper back area and it’s working. I’d also get a second opinion to ensure proper diagnosis since this is something that could affect your kiddo’s ability to walk as well as proper development of the muscles, bones and joints. Keep us posted.

    • peg said,

      13 August 2012 at 1:41

      Dosen’t sound right, I’m double jointed all over including ankles. I have always had what they called weak ankles they would bend when wearing heels other than that ok when I was young I didn’t know till recently that this was not necessarily a good thing and can cause difficulties as you age. Double jointed is not actually a medical term—-Think I would see an orthopedists.

  36. Mimi said,

    10 May 2012 at 8:33

    I can do all these things plus I can dislocate my knee and put it back plus I bruise really easily and I am so clumsy. I am 12 and it makes holding pens and stuff really tricky. Am I hypermobile???.

    • Shyanha said,

      18 May 2012 at 20:05

      Sounds like you are. I’d ask the pediatrician the next time you go b/c being able to dislocate your knee is definitely outside the norm and you could have issues down the road. Right now you’re lucky b/c you have that fast healing that youth provides, but as you get older and your healing slows down you’ll want to be more cautious. Show the pediatrician what you can do – they’ll be amazed!

    • Louise said,

      20 August 2013 at 16:49

      Mimi, you should definitely see a doctor about your knee, because later on you may have problems where your knee gets dislocated by accident – and every time it happens it will get easier to dislocate it.

  37. Shyanha said,

    31 March 2012 at 0:50

    I’ve got hyper mobility in my neck, elbows and thumbs. Never could be a cheerleader b/c my arms spell Wictory! I’m in physical therapy now for the neck because certain muscles are longer than they should be. The opposite of ‘us’ is stability – aka stiffness. Somewhere between the two is ‘balance’ and that’s what my therapist and I are working toward. We’re doing exercises to shorten / tighten certain muscles so the movement is limited, particularly focusing on the muscles that contribute to ‘winged scapula’. By limiting the movement I’ll have more stability and will be closer to balance. Physically, anyway. 8)

    I have constant neck and shoulder pain as a result of the hyper mobility, to the point of complete immobility b/c the muscles seem to ‘lock up’ if I move in the wrong way (grabbing something from behind and under my driver’s seat is almost guaranteed to set it off). My therapist warned that folks like us tend to have more joint issues as we age. Joy of joys!

    I arrived at this blog while doing a search for hyper mobility exercises to see what else he has in store for me, or what I can do in addition to speed up the process. My first reaction to hearing my neck was hyper mobile was, “Well, I always knew my head wasn’t screwed on tight and now I have confirmation!” ;) I’m 39 and the pain started in my mid-20s. So far as I know, I’m t he only hyper mobile person in my family to date other than my daughter. She was fortunate to take on my freakish thumb and back scratching traits. It’s odd, because I’ve always had perfect penmanship and no pain, but she really struggled, yet we don’t appear to vary much in our mobility.

  38. Madison said,

    18 March 2012 at 5:53

    My back bends right behind my boob area. So when I do any kind of stretch like touching my toes or trying to stretch in the “butterfly” position, it looks really weird and like I’m being lazy! What is it and what do I do about it?!?!

    • Madison said,

      18 March 2012 at 5:56

      Plus, I’m trying out for cheerleading and everytime I try to do a jump of lean down in a dance it just looks so weird! What do I do?!

      • andrea said,

        18 March 2012 at 16:38

        Madison, if you look at a diagram of human bone structure, you will see that all of the spinal vertebrae flex (except for those at the very bottom, in the pelvis).

        I’m not sure what you mean by “looks weird”? It’s natural for breasts to hang and slide all over. It’s also natural and rather common for breasts to by asymmetrical — not perfectly matched, e.g., one slightly larger or lower than the other. (Feet are often slightly different sizes too, which is why we buy shoes to fit the larger foot.)

        (If you want to look like models on magazine covers, then all you have to do is pull your arms way over your head -that slides your breasts upwards-, and arch your back into an uncomfortably un-natural standing position -that elongates your abdomen- now, walk around like that all day long. You’ll look idiotic, but you’ll have perky tits and a long tummy! /joking Now get your friends, some magazines, and a long mirror, and you all can learn how to make fun of the magazines and how they trick women. OTOH, my grandma was right when she kept saying, “Sit up straight!”)

        A physician can examine your spine (and take x-rays if needed) to make sure that there isn’t any problematic curvature of the spine.

    • Shyanha said,

      31 March 2012 at 0:56

      Do you mean kind of like you look hunchbacked? Andrea’s grandma’s advice about sitting up straight is spot on. You have to lengthen and straighten the spine. It takes conscious effort to think about it when doing all those moves And when sitting still, walking, running, exercising . . . . That’s what I’m going through now with physical therapy. It’s hard to remember to keep certain muscles tight while letting others go loose. It’s difficult to give advice w/o fully understanding what looks so weird so if you could expand we might be able to help. 8) I’d also recommend having your doctor look at it the next time you go in – just to make sure everything’s in proper order.

  39. Toni said,

    11 March 2012 at 9:13

    I can do everything shown in the pics above. In addition, with my thumbs, not only can I touch my forearm when bending to the side, but I can bend straight backwards to my forearm. I have not been tested for or diagnosed with EDS but I have been diagnosed with (and had surgery for) Chiari Malformation, which often bears a close relationship with EDS. At only 28 years old, I have been diagnosed with OA, fairly severe in my left knee; enough that I have to use a cane whenever I leave the house. I also suffer from Degenerative Disc Disease and Fibromyalgia (along with a few other related conditions). Do you have any neurological problems along with your hypermobility (classic signs of Chiari include severe headaches at the back of the head, particularly upon straining of any kind, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, etc.)?

    • 11 March 2012 at 19:48

      Thankfully I don’t have Chiari-type problems, “just” hypermobility & osteoarthritis. Haven’t been assessed for EDS, but because of my large hands and somewhat long arms one doc did measure my “wingspan” and it wasn’t any greater than my height.

      Sorry to hear about the DDD & Fibro; those too really make life challening, I’m sure!

  40. devin said,

    2 March 2012 at 19:07

    ive bin able to do this forever, its fun to creep ppl out whos never seen it befor

  41. kayla said,

    20 February 2012 at 3:31

    Im 14 and have been double jointed for as long as I can remember… I can do everything what you said and I can dislocate my shoulders without pain. I can also dislocate my thumb and fingers without pain as well.

  42. Rachael said,

    16 February 2012 at 23:09

    Omg I can do all of those so I am double jointed. But what I wanna kno is do u have a better chance of getting osteoporosis or arthritis or is it no change than someone who doesn’t have hypermobility please answer my question if you kno

    • andrea said,

      17 February 2012 at 5:15

      Arthritis depends upon several factors, so you would have to talk to a rheumatologist.

  43. Rachael said,

    16 February 2012 at 23:01

    Omg I can do all of those so I am double jointed. But what I wanna kno is do u have a better chance of getting osteoporosis or arthritis or is it no change than someone who doesn’t have hypermobility

  44. Allison said,

    11 February 2012 at 3:08

    I can do the same things, even more probably. Its weird when I’ll do something (like stand with my knees backwards) and people think its abnormal. But its always been normal to me. I’ve been to a geneist(sorry, i don’t know how to spell it:p) and I’ve been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Maybe that’s what you have (:

  45. Kellie McCarthy said,

    26 January 2012 at 22:23

    Have you heard if something called elhers danos syndrome ( not sure if it’s Spelt correctly) it’s a condition my auntie has, and things you describe, she suffers from too. Let me know how you get on, thanks

  46. Acropanthus said,

    20 December 2011 at 6:32

    I can do everything in the pictures. I have pretty stretchy skin. But I actually bruise less easily than average and am very cordinated.My penmanship is not the best. I am very flexible and have long bony fingers and an abnormally strong wrist.

  47. minney said,

    27 October 2011 at 3:44

    well im 12 and i can do all of that and my fingers are really long and i only know 1 person who can bend her finger but only her thumbs im the only person in pe who can like touch my feet when we like bend down and stretch and i can bend my fingers really far back and it freaks people out alot well by peace thanx 4 da info

    • andrea said,

      28 October 2011 at 23:00


      I’m sorry, but I find it difficult to understand people’s comments when there is not any punctuation. (Sometimes I have odd brain issues.) If you have any other comments or questions, I would be glad to read them. Could you do me the favor of using your “English class” writing instead of “tweeting friends” writing?

      KTHX! (-:

    • Shaun Fife said,

      25 May 2015 at 21:07

      Ehlers-Danlos syndrome right there. Better get checked by a genetic counselor/clinical geneticist. If you have the vascular type it could need a lot of monitoring to avoid sudden blood vessel bursting.

  48. Holly said,

    7 October 2011 at 20:10

    my thumbs and fingers bend back and crack a lot, and sometimes when i move my neck it makes really loud cracking noises and my arms flex back a lot, is there anything i can do about it???

    • andrea said,

      28 October 2011 at 22:53


      Crackling noises in joints is called “crepitus”; it’s from wear on the cartilege in the joints. I have them in my cervical vertebrae, too. My rheumatologist says they’re not a problem unless there is pain, but you should check with your own physician in case there are other issues.

      Another noise is “cavitation”, such as the popping sounds from knees or elbows, or from cracking knuckles. (No, cracking your knuckles does NOT lead to arthritis; that’s an old folk tale.) A vacuum bubble forms in the synovial fluid in the joint, and the popping noise is from the disappearance of the bubble.

      If you do not have any pain, then you are probably okay.

      Sorry, I don’t know of anything to prevent the noises. I’ve had noisy joints since I was a youngster, so they’re just part of my life.

  49. alanna said,

    30 September 2011 at 20:19

    really its kinda fun to do my mom says i shouldn’t do it

    • Emily said,

      15 November 2011 at 6:26

      Always the best content from these poridgious writers.

  50. alanna said,

    30 September 2011 at 20:18

    i am also double jointed i found this out when i was i 3rd grade i am only i 7th and i am 12 all my bffs say i have no bone my pointer finger touches the back of my hand and i can put my hand down flat and lift my left pointer finger and it will slap down it never hurts or feels un comfortable

  51. Bette said,

    28 August 2011 at 22:06

    Lots of great information here. Thank you. I have had problems with hyper mobile joints all my life. I am 60 now and have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis probably partly because of the hyper mobility.
    I bought a pair of Shape Up shoes with the curved soles and they have made a huge difference in my posture and have reduced back and foot pain substantially.My knees – well and other joints too – have been aching a lot with the weather we have been having.
    I sleep with many joints supported by pillows. My Rheumatologist has basically confirmed the hyper mobile joints but Doctors don;t really seem to want to. My knee moved in his hands one day and when he looked at my bare feet all the joints collapsed when I stood on them. I haven;t been able to wear shoes in years – always sandals or clogs so I was amazed that the Shape Ups were so comfortable. I have been wearing them all summer.
    A vertebra slipped out of place in my neck earlier this week and has been raising a ruckus with my jaw, shoulder, back and arm. It seems to have slipped back into place now but I still need to take it easy because it is more likely to slip out again now that it has been out. : (
    Interesting to read other people’s experiences too.

  52. An old lady said,

    2 July 2011 at 11:14

    You should do “Bonebreaking.” Its a form of dance. I think you would be really good at it!

  53. Sofia said,

    26 June 2011 at 7:30

    I found this site by accident, but I can do all those things in the pictures and some more. I know I am double jointed, but I did not know that many of the things I thought were normal were due to my condition. I have really long and bony fingers and toes, I hold pencils or pens the same way as in the picture and I have horrible penmanship, and it takes a lot of patiences and time to have ‘good’ penmanship for me! Yes, now i can blame it on that!!! On another note, do all these ‘symtomes’ mean I have some wierd illness i have never heard about? Because i looked them up (the ones mentioned in previous posts) and I have some of the other symptomes too which is kind of scary…

  54. Lily said,

    19 June 2011 at 5:48

    Jamie – Did you ever find an Oregon doctor to help you with your EDS? If not, I’m in the Portland area, and may be able to offer a suggestion or two.

    • Jodi Jennings said,

      26 May 2012 at 6:25

      Hello! I just found this thread. I recently relocated to Portland and have an amazing GP. But he, admittedly has no experience with “people like me”…lol. I need somebody who knows about HMS here, desperately! Who do you recommend?!

  55. tom wormald said,

    31 May 2011 at 8:08

    im hypermobile aswell – i run strange, but im quick, im good at cricket, but i sling it like melinger, and i get a lot of stick for it… i realised you hol a pen/pencil exactly the same as me.

  56. wheelchair said,

    27 April 2011 at 3:25

    Is this a talent?…I, too has a flexi hands…Will it causes any problems or any risks?…

  57. Brooke said,

    1 February 2011 at 0:02

    I am 10 and hypermobile. I can touch any place on my back like in your picture, bend just the tops of my fingers, twist my arms to look weird, dislocate my thumb, have hyperextended arms and legs, and can twist my thumb outward. Does being “double jointed” mean I have that Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or whatever? And how tell if we are double jointed in a certain place?

  58. rachel said,

    20 January 2011 at 12:27

    wow, i can do all of those, except the stretchy skin.
    is it normal to be able to crack my thumb joints in three places? i can also place my hands on my hips and turn my elbows forwards, its uncomfertable, but i can hold it for ages.

    i suppose this is a bonus, being a ballet dancer and all..

    • andrea said,

      28 October 2011 at 23:04


      You have thumb joints in three places, so why wouldn’t you?

  59. Lindsay said,

    20 January 2011 at 6:28

    Haha oh my gosh I can do all of these things and half pop out by shoulder and ankle. I’m not alone!!

    Btw, cracking your thumb when pulling it back to your wrist=BEST FEELING EVER!

  60. Holly said,

    11 January 2011 at 4:13

    I am 15 years old. I can do the back thingy, touch my pinky and thumb, turn my thunb backwards, put my palms flat on the ground, touch my thumb to my wrist, and do the praying feet thingy. Just a few minutes ago i popped my knee out (Subluxations). It is the third time it has happened. The first time i was just walking over to the couch and my knee popped (Subluxations).
    I can also pop my hip. My right thumb is a trigger thumb which means that my thumb will snap or catch and i can’t bend it farther than strait. If i don’t do it for very long it hurts and gets stuck. I ‘ve had it as long as i can remember.

  61. addisen said,

    27 October 2010 at 21:18

    im 10 and i can do all that and im a dancer it has its atvantages

  62. lama said,

    6 July 2010 at 5:39

    Im proudly hypermobile myself :) i found out a few years back.. im 15 and i find it amusing to show off the “skills” to my friends and see their grossed our reactions haha
    But i love it :p

    I can do all of that its so cool isnt it?

    But the real way to bend back your thumb is if you bend it BACKWARDS* so it touches the BACK or your wrist.. the part which you cannot see your veins.. So the other way around. The image you posted of your thumb – anyone can do that i’ve seen it. Try the other way

  63. Kerri said,

    7 April 2010 at 3:02

    I also am hyper-mobile. So are all of my 7 children. So far my 2nd oldest (18) also has auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, dysgraphia, phonetic unawareness, etc. I was told she wouldn’t be able to learn to read. Hmmm…they didn’t ask her to read yet! She started reading at age 11 & was doing fairly well by age 13. She read the entire series of twilight in a couple of months. Not bad for someone who shouldn’t be able to read! Thank-you so much for the info. It has she some light for me and now I am feeling badly for not being understanding enough & expecting too much. I also have 4 other children in my life that may also have similar issues, plus more.


  64. Nadia said,

    19 February 2010 at 17:51

    well, I can do all these things but I´ve never had any problems with this and no doctor has ever told me it wasn´t normal.

    • andrea said,

      20 February 2010 at 23:27

      I rarely had problems either, until the arthritis set in. Or rather, I should say that the connections were not noticed between my hypermobility and some of the related issues (TMJ, prolapsed uterus, ongoing orthodontic disalignments, easy bruising, poor proprioception, dental anesthetic wearing off too quickly). GPs won’t tell you it’s not normal unless you have health-related issues, and in fact, don’t usually check a person for hypermobility. Actually, I had to bring up the issue with my rheumatologist.


  65. Anne said,

    16 February 2010 at 23:12

    I am also mobile but not so much as you are. I also have a mildly scioliosed spine. I am now almost 50 and about 2 and a half years go started to develop pains. Pain in bending, then sleeping, then sitting and getting up, I even needed support to sit on the toilet. It impacts on the level of activity I could do and the quality of my life. It has taken a while but through all the chiropractors, osteopaths etc I have found that what would of helped was looking after my body at an earlier age. However who is the best person or practitioner to do this? I was pretty okay before but I never new that being hyper mobile contributed to my body developing bad alignment (and it can be so subtle that you can’t see), that I had sloppy hips, the knee injury of my 20s was compounding all the others to the point that I started to hurt 20 after the event and that bones impacting on bones can cause arthritis. What has helped me the most is an excellent (sports) physiotherapist as not all physios have the same level of expertise so I searched out someone with a good known reputation. I also began to regular exercise to keep all joints mobile and now do Bikram yoga 3-4 times a weeks. It is low impact but exercises all of the body. After 2 years of pain this combination works. The physio teaches my body to be correct and gives me exercises specifically for my body and the yoga is always challenging and expects more from my body each time. I wish I had found this out earlier before the problems developed. Knowing who and what to do in the past was the hard thing. Had I know this now i would of seen a physio in my youth the way I would see a doctor to check up and maintain my body. I have always loved being hypermobile, I even have to wear orthotics as I have sloppy feet but it has come with a cost. Health is the utmost thing to cherish and maintain as a happy healthy you makes you a better person for everyone else

  66. Jamie said,

    13 February 2010 at 10:34

    Anyone know of any doctors great with Ehlers_Danlos in Oregon?

  67. rebekah said,

    2 February 2010 at 1:13

    i can do all of these things & it never occured to me that this wasnt normal until now…

  68. andrea said,

    16 November 2009 at 4:37

    Tim, an orthopedist would be helpful to visit. Personally, I’ve found that gel inserts for the heels of my shoes is a wonderful thing, as stocking groceries is hard on my feet.

    • Tim Nakamura said,

      16 November 2009 at 4:58

      Just regular of the shelf gel inserts?

      • andrea said,

        18 November 2009 at 3:36

        Yes, but I have no idea if such would help with whatever particular issue(s) plague your feet. The inserts simply reduce the cumulative shock of being on a concrete floor to my feet and knees.


  69. Tim Nakamura said,

    15 November 2009 at 20:23

    I was wondering if anyone has “Problem” feet. I have Hypermobile toes/feet, & would like feedback as to the type of shoes & or inserts anyone has found success with.

    • lara said,

      27 December 2011 at 19:03

      Hi, I too have JHS & had flat feet & bunions before age 9. I also was a “runner ” for too many years (unaware of the consequences the impact was having on my joints).If you have flat feet, bunions, neuromas ) I recommend Barefoot Science 7-level Therapeutic inserts (a Canadian product ) over anything else available ( I have tried them all–custom made rigid orthotics are the worst things for feet) and Correct Toes ..made by a Portland podiatrist . These 2 products have strengthened my feet. My feet are also shorter now due to better arch & I can outwalk (with no pain ) almost anyone ! They both can be found online .

  70. autumn douglas said,

    15 November 2009 at 17:02

    I can do all of that i can bend my knees back wards and i can do the jump rope thing where you pop your shoulders out and stuff i can do it backwards too. I can do one things that im pretty positive no one else can do where you move like the tendons in your knuckles

  71. andrea said,

    22 September 2009 at 3:36

    It should be noted that children are often more flexible than adults, but those items you mentioned are more than just the average juvenile flexibility. It’s hard to say from so few details; discuss your concerns with her pediatrician.

  72. elizabeth tye said,

    22 September 2009 at 2:14

    My daughter is seven and can do the thumb thing. she can also turn her leg around at the knee joint so her foot is facing backwards. i am worried this is going to cause her joint problems in later life. Shes only just discovered the foot thing so im not sure what else she can do. Is this hypermobility

    • Tim Nakamura said,

      15 November 2009 at 19:58

      I have diagnosis’s of OA of both hands & feet. I’ve had Hypermobility all my life. I was a skinny kid , thats when I had first found out that I was more flexible than my friends, & at the time, it was quite a novelty. Now it’s a big problem. I’m 43 yrs. old & have had many dislocations of my shoulder, sprained fingers wrist, you name it. Sore throbbing feet & fingers all due to Hypermobile joints. Anyone who has a child with this condition should be alarmed. Job selection later on in life is crucial for I am now unable to perform my job, which was a bad fit for me. I am now better informed & will post again . I just came across this Site, Andrea, for tomorrow I will walk-in to see my Pain Management Doctor with my new findings. What worries me greatly is wondering if my whole body will become Arthritic in time. Every joint in my body is Hypermobile to some extent I believe that Hypermobility predisposes you to Arthritis.

  73. Andie said,

    16 September 2009 at 8:08

    interesting! I can do the stuff in the first three photos, but for the shoulder one, I can only do with my left side, not the right at all. anyway, I always thought growing up that everyone could bend their fingers back at a 90 degree angle. :p

  74. 6 September 2009 at 4:20

    […] your Fairy Godmother for malpractice? Some things like the are just annoying; were I graceful, the hypermobility might have enabled me to be a dancer or gymnast.  Instead, I’m just arthritic and bruised, […]

  75. Seshat said,

    30 August 2009 at 5:30

    Geez – are you my twin? Your posts on face recognition and having to process what people actually mean both challenged me to the point where I had to go away and stop reading. Too similar.

    And now this.


  76. adventuresintaiwan said,

    2 June 2009 at 17:25

    I’ve always known I’m slightly hypermobile, and I just recently learned that my pencil grip is one of the ones considered ineffective, but when trying to do it the ‘proper’ way, my fingers wound up looking exactly like the picture you posted instead of the way they’re supposed to. Thank you for that picture and making me realize that it’s not the way I’m holding the pencil that’s the problem, it’s having very bendy, long fingers. Huzzah!

  77. Jordan said,

    22 April 2009 at 4:48

    Hi, I found your website and I think you have EDS. Its a genetic disorder of connective tissues (symptoms include stretchy skin and hypermobility) . Check out the website, you should probably be tested.

  78. Christian Livsey said,

    19 April 2009 at 10:36

    Well, those things you can do look identical to the things I can do, except my skin’s much stretchier, hehe!
    always been curious about that!

  79. Michael said,

    17 April 2009 at 3:55

    Yea i also can do the wrist fingers overlap thing and the thumb to the forearm
    i dont know if thats normal i also thought everyone could do that
    but my fingers arnt long i think i just have realy thin wrist

  80. shelby said,

    10 April 2009 at 3:36

    I can do the thumb to the rist and the hand arounf the wrist thing, but I thought everyone could do that.

  81. ACE said,

    16 February 2009 at 6:10

    I’m EDS type 3…. The non threatening, fun version.
    It was hell while I waited to find out which type I have…
    But now I m good and happy to know what I have.

  82. shiva said,

    11 February 2009 at 16:59

    I can’t do anywhere near as much of the hand stuff as you, but have some sort-of-similar things (can bend my little fingers back to almost touch the back of my wrists, can do what you can with your thumbs… oddly, i can do those things more easily with my left hand than my right, despite being right-handed).

    I have small hands (for a man), but very long fingers with big, “lumpy” knuckles – is that “arachnodactyly”? (sounds like it should mean “spider fingers”, and i’ve always thought there was something vaguely arthropod-like about my hands…)

    Is that shoulder/hand behind the back thing really unusual? I always assumed everyone could do that…

  83. 7 February 2009 at 19:40

    […] can see my pictures on this page. Several people have suggested that I have Ehlers-Danlos and/or Marfan’s because I have […]

  84. Melanie said,

    29 December 2008 at 6:41

    I hadn’t even read that you bruise easily. That is also a sign of Ehlers-Danos, along with poor wound healing. You have to get checked. Bring it up. insist on testing and research what you have to do. Our organs may become affected since ED is an attack on the collagen in the body and our bodies are made up of collagen. Lungs, heart, uterus, intestines, esophogus, vocal cords- all among the parts of our bodies that become lax and possibly dysfunctional. Some with ED don’t experience damage to the organs at all and have normal life expectancies. But precautions need to be taken when one has Ehlers-Danos and unfortunately, it is a genetic disorder. Having your family participate in the diagnostic process will help. Hopefully you will have more luck with that than I have. Please take care.

  85. Melanie said,

    29 December 2008 at 6:23

    I am more than sure tht Marfan syndrome is congenital. But you do have the signs of Ehlers-Danos. It is really important to get a diagnosis because depending on the type you have (there are 6 types and a couple of variations from there) it can be life threatening. I don’t mean to scare you, but it is more than a weird trick or oddity. Please research a doctor with some knowledge of Ehlers-Danos and its related disorders such as Cutis Laxa. Many doctors are unaware of these very serious disorders becuase they are so rare. They are called orphan diseases. Please don’t worry, but find a doctor and take it from there. That’s what I’m trying to do.

  86. Sam said,

    15 December 2008 at 9:49

    Looks like you have Ehlers Danlois.

  87. Collin said,

    5 December 2008 at 2:11

    I only 12, and a guy at that, with this problem. I can do all of those except the thumb to the wrist.

    (By the way, hyper mobility is WAY more common in women)

  88. datf said,

    29 October 2008 at 1:57

    well, i could do all except bending last finger over to the thumb, those that has to do with legs, and putting the hand flat on floor. this is really informative.

  89. qw88nb88 said,

    25 October 2008 at 1:13

    I don’t zip buttons. The arthritis is more problematic than the hypermobility in the buttoning end of things.

  90. 23 October 2008 at 16:42

    Do you have hard time buttining and zipping small buttons? THank you

  91. ave said,

    19 September 2008 at 10:15

    It looks like you have Marfan syndrome. Do consult a Clinical Geneticist.

  92. liz said,

    13 September 2008 at 16:15

    my skin does that and im onley 10!!!!

    • Lauren said,

      17 January 2012 at 6:53

      Im 11, and im 5’3 . My thumbs pop when I move it. I can put my thumb to my wrist also, but its sore and when I pop it , it hurts badly.

  93. Liz stayton said,

    13 September 2008 at 16:13

    i can do all of those things ectsept the thumb to wrist but i can make it go out of sockedet and back in easy without pain im an all star dancer so being super flexibal helps a lot

  94. sally said,

    16 August 2008 at 14:30

    I dont have flex fingers nor stretchy skin…but have the other flexibility shown here…ov witch i thought where normal lol……………untill i attempted to step out of my bath to find it was,nt happening (in intence pain my back just would not straighten up) … this happens time and time again… triggered simply by hanging out my washing ect…within 3 weeks or so im back to my normal flexy
    problem i have is my physio says this is hypermobility related (advises me no running jumping ect with hope to avoid injury) …but my doctor looks at he like my light have gone out…

    can anyone else relate to this?

  95. Susan said,

    14 August 2008 at 15:03

    I found your blog while thinking about Michael Phelps…Like him, I have ADHD (I’m 43, dx’d at 7 re-dx’d at 41.) Michael can also do some physical things people seem to find odd and I though were normal for someone who stretches, etc. I recall reading somewhere there is a connection…I thought I was normal until my cello teacher told me I was double jointed in my fingers (like your pix!). I thought my flexibilty was normal…can’t everyone bend over and touch the floor with flat palms and knees straight?

    Have you ever head of a connection between the two?

  96. Kelly said,

    12 July 2008 at 15:34

    It also makes injury easier. I’ve hurt my knees more times than I can count.

  97. Denise McGinley said,

    10 July 2008 at 23:59

    The stretchy skin is a give-away…you most probably have ehlers danlos syndrome. I suggest checking out the EDNF web site for more info….if you want, feel free to email me! :o)

  98. 30 May 2008 at 13:18

    Dang.. I didn’t even realize that being able to put feet together like praying hands was weird…. Funny how one’s sense of normal can change so quickly.

    • said,

      29 September 2012 at 20:39

      Me neither thanks I know this was years ago just shows where have I been.

  99. 21 May 2008 at 3:31

    […] past their knees. But all things being relative, I am indeed stiff. This is because I am normally hypermobile. On normal days (now Good Days), I can bend over, knees locked and legs straight, and put my palms […]

  100. 27 May 2007 at 19:57

    […] would be useful in dance or gymnastics, but those require (you guessed it!) coördination. Being doublejointed (can do way too many things on the Beighton Scale) also plays into the arthralgia (joint pain) […]

    • Jessica Tucker said,

      20 August 2013 at 19:44

      No please don’t dance or do gymnastics!!!!! I have the same fallibility as you do but I danced 15 years and competed on a team in gymnastics for jr. Olympics and broke so many bones due to hyperextension. based off your pictures though I see I have a more severe case. In the military I was discharged for my flexibility, they said it was a degenerative skeletal muscle disorder. The body targets the ligaments and tendons causing them to kinda dissolve. It also effects hormone levels and brain activity.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: