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18 Surprising Symptoms of Hypermobility

Hypermobility occurs when a person’s joints move beyond their normal range of motion. It’s one of the defining symptoms or features of several chronic conditions, including hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) and joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS). Although some people may think hypermobility means you’re “a bit bendy,” it tends to be more complicated than that.

A chronic illness causing hypermobility can actually produce a wide range of symptoms and side effects. These physical symptoms can be debilitating and life-altering, and they can have profound effects on a person’s mental health, lifestyle or ability to work, go to school or do their favorite activities.

We wanted to better understand the reality of what it’s like to live with this condition, so we asked our Mighty community to share a surprising symptom of hypermobility they’ve experienced. Has being hypermobile affected you in any unexpected ways? Let us know in the comments below.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

  1. I’ll be stiff and having spasms but still able to hyperextend. My muscles work overtime to compensate for how lax my joints are, and are in constant knots because of it.” – Antonia D.
  2. Fatigue from trying to hold my body together.” – Megan M.
  3. Bruises everywhere, for no apparent reason. It makes me self-conscious, and I worry people think my husband abuses me, they’re that bad. And 99 percent of them I have no recollection of bumping anything there.” – Trisha P.
  4. The pain caused by doing anything of one activity too long. Writing with a pen, typing at a computer, sitting, standing and sleeping. Do any of them for too long and my body aches and burns.” – Cassie G.
  5. Getting local anesthetic at the dentist and it barely lasting 15 minutes… let alone a whole procedure! It was one of the things that led me to my hypermobility/EDS diagnosis.” – Elisa S.
  6. I was chopping cantaloupe for my daughter last month. I thought the melon was just tougher than normal, as I was having trouble cutting it. When I went to pick up the pieces and put it in her bowl, I couldn’t grasp them. I had weakness in my whole arm apparently. I saw my chiropractor the following day and he said I had subluxed my shoulder, elbow and wrist, all in the same arm.” – Tab M.
  7. Eye problems, early onset progressive short sightedness. I haven’t been able to see anything except colors and shapes without glasses since I was 8. I also have abnormally dilated pupils that don’t react properly to light causing photophobia and migraines.” – Georgina R.
  8. My fingers curve upwards, I always thought it was normal until I saw other people’s hands and realized that the top joint in my finger is hypermobile.” – Michelle B.D.
  9. Dislocating my jaw if I bite into an apple. Every. Single. Time. It’s incredibly painful, so now I just cut slices off, and eat them that way!” – Cassandra B.
  10. A hiatus hernia and a bowel that doesn’t work properly. Not so much surprising to me anymore, but it’s always surprising to those people who think it’s just being ‘bendy.’” – Toni K.
  11. Dislocating ribs in your sleep and waking up in severe pain, and doctors not knowing if you’re having a heart problem, a lung problem, a joint problem, kidney problem, liver/biliary problem, back problem or muscle problem, so you see seven different specialists until someone figures out where the pain is coming from… and they of course can’t agree.” – Sherry B.
  12. Chronic migraines from my cervical spine being unstable. My head feels too heavy for my neck most days.” – Natalie D.
  13. Super speed birthing process. Both kids born naturally within an hour of realizing I was definitely in labor.” – Krys D.
  14. Just how many joints can be dislocated. Places I’d never have believed if I hadn’t done it myself. Ribs, collar bones and separating your lower leg from your thigh! What the hell is that about?!” – Kirstie W.
  15. The scars – never linked to EDS. My various stitches went keloid or just stretched due to the lack of collagen linked to hypermobility.” – Louise M.B.
  16. My jaw subluxes when I fall asleep in the car (obviously as a passenger!), the cracks and creaks my body makes when I first get out of bed and everything is going back into place. Lastly POTS [postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome] is something I did not expect at all!” – Stacey G.
  17. The pain I feel every day all over my body. I never imagined being hypermobile would make you hurt so much all the time.” – Jamie M.B.
  18. It always surprises me to see that I have all these things that are normal for me but not normal for a non-hypermobile person. Like what do you mean it’s not normal to hyperextend your knees or be able to put your whole fist in your mouth? It’s normal for me!” – Ryleigh C.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash