Double-jointedness (joint hyper laxity/hypermobility) is a medical condition which affects approximately 3% of the population.
A contributing factor to joint hypermobility is a person’s genetic instructions for making the protein collagen which may cause the collagen to form so that it is relatively weak and this will mean that ligaments are more easily stretched, and thus the joints are more flexible.
Joint hypermobility can also be caused by more serious conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Vascular Type (EDS IV) and Osteogenesis imperfecta. These have potentially serious complications.
Hypermobility has a few advantages for example:
- It can be very useful in some sports. E.g. in cricket: bowlers with long, thin, flexible fingers are likely to be able to produce better spin on the ball when they bowl.
- Music is another example-playing the piano or guitar would be much easier if you were to have hypermobile fingers.
But of course there are also some disadvantages:
- Lack of understanding of the condition can itself have an emotional influence on those with it. Many suffer from frustration, anger and even depression.
- Joint pain particularly during growth spurts in females.
- More likely to endure painful injuries such as dislocation, fractures, ligament sprains, muscle strains and so forth.