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17 Times Double-Jointed People Took It Way Too Far

Well that looks like it hurts.

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First things first, WTF does "double-jointed" even mean?

Twitter: @CommonBlackGirI

It actually has nothing to do with "double" anything. The technical term is hypermobility or hyperextensibility of the joints, which means that the joint can move beyond the normal range of motion. "This happens because the tendons and ligaments, which make up the connective tissue around the joint, are too loose or flexible," Dr. Jennifer Hand, medical geneticist who specializes in hypermobility at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told BuzzFeed Life.

You can have one or two hypermobile joints or a larger group, and in most cases it won't cause any problems or require treatment. But if the connective tissue around your joints is too loose, it can cause joint pain and increase your risk of dislocation and other injuries.

It can be caused by a combination of factors, like age, genes, or even repetitive stretching, says Hand. In some cases it can be a symptom of a genetic disorder, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) or Marfan syndrome, both of which affect connective tissue. If you have either of these conditions, it would be wise to talk to your doctor before doing any of these intentionally as it may increase your risk of pain or injury.

And despite how freaky it looks, showing off your double-jointedness probably won't hurt you.

"There's no clear evidence that these 'party tricks' people do with their hands or other body parts are harmful, especially if you just do it occasionally," Hand says. However, if you do have hypermobile joints and you start to feel pain, you should stop. Likewise, if your joint ever becomes dislocated, you should definitely see a doctor.

That said, if you have EDS or Marfan syndrome, there's a larger chance of pain or dislocation associated with hypermobility, especially as you get older, she says. So if you have one of these conditions, it's best to talk to your doctor about what that means for you and your flexibility.

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Update

This post has been updated to better explain the risks that can be associated with hypermobility as a symptom of EDS or Marfan syndrome.

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