How do I know if I'm Double Jointed?

We see lots of people who are hypermobile in clinic and it's sometimes referred to as being "double jointed", but how do you know if you are or not? 

  • Do you find you just can't feel the stretch, despite being able to stretch really far?
  • Do your hips and back still ache despite doing stretch classes a few times a week?
  • Do you often dislocate joints or keep getting sprains and strains?

If you answered yes to the 3 questions above these symptoms suggest you could be hypermobile. 

Hypermobility basically means that the joints are overly mobile because the ligaments and tendons that support the joints and act as retaining straps are too elastic, and stretch too much, therefore they don't provide good support for the joints and let the joints move too much.

Hypermobility itself doesn't usually cause pain, and often will barely affect your normal daily life. But why do hypermobility sufferers get pain? The pain is caused by the muscles working extra hard to support and stabilise the joints, taking over the job of the too stretchy ligaments as well as their own job. This, combined with the fact that a hypermobile person's joints move through a huge range of motion, puts a large stress on the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joint surfaces themselves.

Some people will be hypermobile from very early life associated with diseases (such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, or EDS as it's often known) but often it's caused by activities that repeatedly stretch the joints and muscles, but which fails to add necessary strength training for the muscles too. Strength is essential to balance the body's increased mobility.

What can be done to help with Hypermobility?

Whilst there is no cure for hypermobility related to disease processes, the condition itself is considered non progressive, mainly because joint laxity reduces naturally as we age. However, it is VERY important that you get professional advice as soon as possible as hypermobility can lead to other problems such as osteoarthritis, dislocations and conditions such as scoliosis later in life.

The good news is that the current pain you may have is often related to poor muscle tone, which can be significantly improved by working on muscle strength, posture and balance which goes a long way to help to protect your body from further injuries. Osteopaths use hands on treatment to relieve soft tissue aches, but also can help with rehabilitation of affected areas by working with the body in an integrated way, rather than just rubbing the sore area.

If you have any questions about hypermobility, or you think you may benefit from treatment, do get in touch or book in online via our appointments page.

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