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12 April 2012

So I have hypermobility? So I stumbled across this page randomly and was scrolling through the pictures, noting that I could scratch my back like that if I wanted to and that I could easily grasp my wrist like that too.[More:]

Finally I came to the picture with the thumb bending backwards to touch the arm and I started to wonder if I too have this hypermobility thing because that's also something I've been able to do with both hands.

Then I looked at this Beighton Score chart and I can do most of those things with a greater or lesser degree of ease. Finally I looked at the Wikipedia page for hypermobility and arachnodactyly and got a bit nervous. The Internet's a bad place for hypochondriacs!
I can do everything on the chart except touch my thumbs to my arms. I can also stand with my feet facing in, big toes touching each other, without wobbling, and some weird stuff with shoulder rotation.
posted by initapplette 12 April | 15:11
Yep, pretty much.

Someone pointed this out to me once when I was getting a massage, and it made a lot of sense. I slump ALL THE TIME. I much prefer leaning up against something or being cradled in cushions than sitting up straight. Plus I was on the pom squad because I could kick like crazy with barely no work. (I sucked at everything else.)

I broke my elbow pretty badly in 2005 and required surgery. The doctor said I would never have a normal elbow again. Basically, what that means now is that my surgically repaired elbow looks normal, instead of flexing backwards an extra 20 degrees like my creepy other elbow.
posted by Madamina 12 April | 15:34
I remember when my sister was worried about hypermobility a few years ago. If it's not causing you pain, I wouldn't worry about it. Besides easier dislocation and possible future joint pain, which a lot people end up having, it's not something to actually worry about.
Hereditary aspects suggest she's not bound for a syndrome and the women on our side are just all pretty flexible.
posted by ethylene 12 April | 15:36
Are you really tall? Does your foot size correspond to the length of your forearm?
posted by ethylene 12 April | 15:39
Very interesting. It's probably no big deal, I just feel curious about these things sometimes. I'm definitely not in any pain.

I am fairly tall -- 5'7'' (I'm a woman). I have big feet and hands -- my feet are size 10. My foot is a fair bit smaller than my forearm though.

posted by peacheater 12 April | 15:58
Might you have Marfan's? I think they'd have caught it by now. How old are you?
posted by ethylene 12 April | 16:13
I doubt I have Marfan's :) Don't scare me any more! I'm tall but not really abnormally so and my fingers are long but not unusually so. I'm also not skinny which seems to be common. I'm 26.
posted by peacheater 12 April | 16:26
Gee, I had no idea that this could be related to me always having to warn the dentist that the anesthetic isn't going to work. I thought it was my high metabolism.
posted by aniola 12 April | 16:28
Wikipedia says

It is important that the individual with hypermobility remain extremely fit - even more so than the average individual - to prevent recurrent injuries. Regular exercise and physical therapy or hydrotherapy can reduce symptoms of hypermobility, because strong muscles help to stabilise joints. These treatments can also help by stretching tight, overused muscles and ensuring the person uses joints within the ideal ranges of motion, avoiding hyperextension or hyperflexion. Low-impact exercise such as Pilates or T'ai chi is usually recommended for hypermobile people as it is less likely to cause injury than high-impact exercise or contact sports.
posted by aniola 12 April | 16:36
I'm trying to overload your webochondria. We could play House and I could throw all kinds of zebras at you.
posted by ethylene 12 April | 17:02
I'm hypermobile - I use my powers to freak people out at parties.

I can attest it's better to be fit if you are. You can also impress people at yoga with your flexibility!

≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by gomichild 12 April | 21:19
I was always jealous of the "double jointed" kids in my class in elementary school. I'd assumed they worked on this skill and I tried and failed. Even now when I read that they can always scratch that itch on their back, I'm envious.
posted by Obscure Reference 13 April | 06:38
I'm hypermobile but I don't think I have the syndrome, and it doesn't particularly cause me any problems. My thumbs will touch my forearms with very little effort, and they used to do the same thing backwards. I can do the praying thing with my feet, too, and never realised that wasn't normal until I freaked someone out with it...

I'm short, though, and don't particularly have stretchy skin. Basically I'm just really flexible and a bit weird.
posted by altolinguistic 13 April | 12:12
Man and polar bear share a morning swim || You've been flocked!