Am I Double Jointed? 3 Quick Tests to Check!
Some people are classed as Hypermobile or known in the physio world as Floppy’s. They are usually born with looser ligaments and joints that have significantly more range.
The general quick tests we use can be:
- Elbows Straighten more than 180 degrees (hyperextend)
- The thumb can be pushed downwards onto the wrist
- Knees straighten more than 180 degrees
We haven’t seen many cases (if any) of there actually being more than one joint present. Interestingly the floppy’s tend to gravitate towards the activities that enjoy being flexible. They like yoga, dance and stretch classes. The stiffy’s are the opposite, those people who are very tight and think they have achieved lots when stretching down anywhere near their toes. The stiffy’s like going to the gym and power training type activities. They are strong and excel in areas which don’t require a lot of movement. They can’t stand going to Yoga classes as they simply cannot do many of the required postures and stretches, while the floppies hang at the front of the class and replicate the Instructor’s impressive moves with ease.
In short, the Stiffy’s should be doing Yoga and Pilates focusing on improving their flexibility while the Floppy’s should be focusing on strength and core work in the Pilates studio or at the gym. A Physiotherapist and a good personal trainer can recognise these and adjust training programs to make them more tailored to the individual.
For us Physio’s, treating Floppy’s and Stiffy’s involves entirely different approaches to achieve maximum results.
This also introduces another category of patient known as the Flippy which is another topic of discussion which we will cover at a later date.
Written by Matt Geister
This article was written by Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Matt Geister. Matt has been enjoying his work as a Physiotherapist in private practice for more than 20 years.
He is passionate about health and fitness. His background in Martial arts and acupuncture shows through with his approach to helping our clients.
Matt uses a variety of different manual therapy techniques to help people with pain, joint dysfunction, and postural conditions to improve their quality of life