1. First things first, the phrase "double-jointed" is inaccurate — it actually has to do with loose ligaments.
2. It's totally normal to have a hypermobile joint here and there, especially in the hands.
3. But some people have generalized joint hypermobility, which means they're bendy and "double-jointed" all over.
4. A doctor can actually diagnose this with special flexibility tests.
5. In some cases, having flexible joints all over can be a symptom of a more serious genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue.
6. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, one of the most common causes of severe hypermobility, can range from mild to fatal.
7. But you can also just be a super-hypermobile, bendy person.
8. With severe hypermobility, activities like walking and exercising can cause serious injury.
9. And it can actually be annoying and painful to be able to dislocate your joints.
A lot of hypermobile people can easily dislocate their joints and pop them back in place. If the joint is super loose and dislocations happen regularly, it might not hurt much, but it can also be just as painful as a dislocation is for anyone without hypermobility.
"A hypermobile person's shoulder joint can dislocate from just reaching your arms behind your back to fasten a bra," Vigdorchik says. So in many cases, it's unintentional and pretty annoying. Not all joints can be easily popped back into place, so it can actually wind up costing you a ton in trips to the ER for a doctor to relocate and align your joints.