If you can touch your thumb to your forearm or put your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees, you may think that you’re double jointed. Despite the extremely common use of the term “double jointed,” it’s actually very inaccurate and misleading. Saying that someone is double jointed implies that you have two joints where others only have one or that your joints have twice the normal motion, but neither is possible.
The Real Term for Being Double Jointed
Doctors describe people with joints that can move beyond the typical motion as hypermobility, which probably never caught on because it doesn’t sound nearly as fun as being double jointed. Approximately 20% of people are hypermobile.
Is Hypermobility Genetic?
Those who are hypermobile are born with genetically different makeup in their collagen that allows their joints to be more flexible without having to stretch their tissues. There are few additional factors that an influence hypermobility:
- Onherited Traits: Abnormal collagen or elastin fibers can be inherited genetically, causing your joints to be looser.
- Shallow Bones: If your bones sit shallowly in your sockets, you can experience an increased range of motion.
- Nervous System Impairment: A side effect of nervous system impairment is poor muscle tone, which can cause unusually relaxed muscles and increased joint movement.
- Abnormal Proprioception: The body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location is known as proprioception. If you can’t sense the position of your joint normally, you can overextend them without realizing it.
Can You Become Hypermobile?
While some people are able to train their joints to become more mobile, they aren’t considered to be truly hypermobile. When ballet dancers and gymnasts are able to increase their mobility, they do so by stretching the ligaments and connective tissue that surrounds their joints. Increasing your joint mobility won’t produce any medical problems for most people.
Downsides to Hypermobility
While hypermobility sounds like all fun and games, there are some downsides.
- Risk for Injury: Increased mobility can bring an increased risk for shoulder and knee dislocations with it.
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS): Hypermobility can be a symptom of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a group of rare inherited connective tissue disorders. There is no cure for EDS, but doctors can help you manage it by recommending lifestyle changes or treatments.
- Anxiety: A study published in 2014 found that people with hypermobile joints have heightened brain activity in anxiety regions and are more likely to experience anxiety as a result.
Supporting Your Joints
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric has received worldwide attention for its antioxidant properties and ability to support normal inflammatory processes. It’s even more beneficial when it is combined with piperine because it increases its bioavailability.
Smarter Curcumin is standardized to 95% tetrahydrocurcuminoids, which is the most active form of curcumin available. Our formula includes black cumin seed oil and AstraGin® to make curcumin easier for the body to absorb without having to alter the curcumin itself. We also added ginger, a close botanical relative to turmeric, for digestive support and additional benefits.
- Cluett, Jonathan MD. “Can You Really Be Double-Jointed?” Very Well Health. 2021.
- Rodriguez, Tori. “People Who Are Double-Jointed Are More Likely to Be Anxious.” Scientific American. 2015.
- Cleveland Clinic. “Is There Any Downside to Being Double-Jointed?” 2019.
- Hewlings, Susan J, and Douglas S Kalman. “Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 6,10 92. 22 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3390/foods6100092