Why are the human knees and elbows bent in an opposite direction

Why are the human knees and elbows bent in an opposite direction

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I can assume that the hands used to be the same as legs. And they got weaken, and changed direction when human started to walk on two? Also why do the hand palms facing the body and not facing down like the feet?

I am no expert on comparative anatomy, but I will give this a shot. Please edit if you know more about this subject!

The configuration of opposing elbow and knee joints is a feature we humans share with large group of mammals. For example, below is an image of a shrew skeleton.

Opposing joints are course a major feature of mammalian anatomy, and there are many studies on its functions and advantages. Among other things, this configuration allows for characteristic gaits of mammals such as the gallop of a horse, and it allows mammals to rest with legs protected under their body. See this page for some basic information.

Neil Shubin's book Your Inner Fish on human evolution also discusses the opposing joints arrangement, noting that this is a "key feature that gives us the capacity to walk, one we share with other mammals". A preview of the book is here.

A quick literature search turns up many technical articles on this subject, such as this review series. I'm afraid the details are beyond me (again, experts please edit), but I think it's fair to say that there is plenty of evidence for advantages of this joint arrangement in mammals.

Unfortunately, your question isn't clear. "Why" could mean different things. What course of events led to it? What benefits does it provide? We could just say, it's not disadvantageous this way, so why not. So perhaps you could clarify.

Evolutionarily, through the stages as our ancestors evolved from small mammal to human, the changes that occurred were sufficiently suitable for the species. The joints are oriented well enough for walking, running, and holding things, and there doesn't need to be more reason. As for the hands, they point away from the arms like they do in other great apes. The difference is that in humans, the feet have a hard time pointing down since they are never used as hands, and hands have a harder time pivoting to be perpendicular to the arm because they are never used as feet anymore. Because of these behavioral differences from other great apes, variations that helped feet be used as hands and hands be used as feet were not selected for, but variations that reinforced walking and running ability and that reinforced object manipulation were selected for.

It's an amazing question, really. And you might be right about your assumption. In the womb, our legs and arms bent in the same direction. But as the foetus continued to develop, the legs and arms rotated to bend in opposite direction (to each other). As of now, there is no rational explanation as to why this happens.

So I guess all we can do is be grateful to the way our bodies have come into being. If, for instance, our knees bent backward (just like our elbows), our legs would bend forward like our arms and we wouldn't be able to walk the way we do. Apply the same to the arms and we'd be lifting things in an entirely different way, and backwards too! Also, we won't be possessing the ability to write.

You can check out this page for more info:

What is the difference between flexion and extension?

In anatomy, flexion and extension are opposite movements of approaching and retreating in an anteroposterior direction. They are typical movements of synovial joints, although it can also refer to movements of other joints and moving parts of the body.

More precisely, flexion and extension are defined as angular movements made in the sagittal plane with respect to the median frontal plane . Next we will see what these anatomical planes are and then explain the differences between flexion and extension.

Anatomical planes of the human body

All anatomical descriptions of the human body are made with respect to planes and axes defined in the so-called anatomical position . In this position, the body is positioned in a standing position, with the arms extended to the sides and turned so that the palms of the hands face forward.

Starting from this position, the sagittal plane is the plane perpendicular to the ground that cuts the body in the right half and the left half . Any movement made in the anteroposterior direction is said to be in the sagittal plane.

For example, if we are in the anatomical position, raising and lowering the leg in front of the body, bending and extending the knee, or bending and extending, are movements performed in the sagittal plane.

In addition to the sagittal plane that cuts the body just in the middle (mid- sagittal plane ), any plane parallel to it is also called the sagittal plane, which is why we generally speak of sagittal planes and not just one.

For example, the movement of bending and extending the knee occurs in a sagittal plane (plane in the anteroposterior direction and perpendicular to the floor) but does not occur in the mid-sagittal plane, it does not occur right in the middle of the body.

Postural Deformities - Scoliosis, Kyphosis, Lordosis

Posture is the position of an individual's body while standing, sitting, walking, sleeping etc. There is no conform rigid standard of body positions. Deformity is the malformation of any component or body part or joint of the body. There are various postural deformities like knock knees, Bow legs, Flat foot, Scoliosis, Lordosis and Kyphosis. Following are the common postural deformities.

Knock knees images

Knock knees causes:

  1. Rickets.
  2. Obesity during childhood.
  3. Muscular or ligaments weakness at early age.
  4. Fractures and injuries involving the knee joint.
  5. Lack of Balanced diet .
  6. Flat foot.

Precautions of Knock knees:

    should be taken.
  1. Babies should not be forced to walk at very early age.
  2. Perform proper exercises.

Knock knees exercise and Knock knees Remedies:

  1. keep a pillow between the knees and stand erect for some time.
  2. Use cod liver oil.
  3. Horse riding.
  4. Use walking calipers.

Flat foot Causes:

  1. Weak muscles.
  2. Obesity.
  3. Using improper shoes.
  4. Carrying heavy weight for a long period.
  5. Standing for a long time.

Precautions of Flat foot:

  1. Always wear the shoes of proper shape and size.
  2. Obesity should be avoided.
  3. High heeled shoes should be avoided.
  4. Don't carry heavy weight for a long period.
  5. Babies should not be forced to walk at very early age.

Flat foot Remedies and Flat foot exercises:

  1. Walk on heels.
  2. Loose weight.
  3. Skip on rope.
  4. Perform stretching exercises.
  5. Use good quality shoes.
  6. Walk bare footed over the sand.
  7. Run fast bare footed over clean surface.

Round shoulder Causes:

  1. Due to heredity.
  2. By wearing very tight clothes.
  3. By sitting on improper furniture.
  4. By walking, sitting in bent position.
  5. Lack of proper exercise.

Precautions of Round shoulder:

  1. Never sit, stand or walk in bent position.
  2. Use loose fitting clothes.
  3. Always use proper furniture to sit.

Exercises for Rounded shoulders and Round shoulder Remedies:

  1. Keep your tips of fingers on your shoulders and encircle your elbows clockwise and anticlockwise direction for same number of times.
  2. Hold the horizontal bar for some time. for rounded shoulders - Perform Chakra asana and Dhanur asana regularly.

Lordosis Causes:

  1. Imbalanced diet.
  2. Improper development of muscles.
  3. Taking more food than required.
  4. Overweight or obesity.
  5. Diseases of spinal muscles.

Precautions of Lordosis:

    should be taken.
  1. Stand straight while carrying weight.
  2. Never take excessive food.
  3. Maintain your weight.

Lordosis Treatment and lordosis exercise:

  1. Perform toe-touching at least 10 times.
  2. Perform sit-ups regularly.
  3. Stand straight and touch your feet with hands.
  4. Perform Hal asana, Paschimotan asana and Vipritkarni asana regularly.

Kyphosis Causes:

  1. Carrying heavy loads.
  2. Improper furniture.
  3. Weak muscles.
  4. Bending while walking.
  5. Wearing shapeless and tight cloths.
  6. Due to heredity.

Precautions of Kyphosis:

Kyphosis Treatment and Kyphosis exercises:

  1. Always keep a pillow under your back while sleeping.
  2. Bend your head backward in standing position.
  3. Perform swimming.
  4. Perform dhanur asana, Chakra asana regularly.

Bow legs Causes:

  1. Rickets.
  2. Deficiency of vitamin D and calcium.
  3. Improper way of walking.
  4. Obesity.
  5. Using defaulted footwear.
  6. Forcing babies to walk at early stage.

Precautions of Bow legs:

  1. Don't carry heavy weight in childhood.
  2. Babies should not be forced to walk at very early age. should be taken.
  3. Always walk properly.
  4. Use good quality shoes.

Bow legs Remedies and bow legs exercises:

  1. vitamin 'D' and calcium should be taken in required amount.
  2. Walk on inner edge of the feet.
  3. Walk by bending the toes inward.
  4. Perform Garud asana regularly.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis Causes:

  1. Birth defects.
  2. Wear and tear in the spine.
  3. Difference in the lengths of the legs.
  4. Lifting weight towards one side in routine.
  5. Wrong standing posture.
  6. Unsuitable furniture.

Precautions of Scoliosis:

  1. Never walk for long time with carrying weight in one hand.
  2. Always stand in correct posture.
  3. Use suitable furniture. should be taken.
  4. Study should be avoided in sideways bending position.

Scoliosis treatment and Scoliosis exercises:

  1. Hold the horizontal bar woth hands and let your body hang for some time.
  2. Swim by using breast stoke technique.
  3. Performing bending exercise in opposite side of the 'C' shaped curve.
  4. Perform Trikon asana and Ardhchakra asana in opposite direction.
  1. knock knees
  2. Bow legs
  3. Flat foot
  4. Scoliosis
  5. Lordosis
  6. Kyphosis

Q. 3 What is Flat foot?
Ans: Flat foot is a postural deformity in which the inner curve of foot has bulge more than normal. In this default of feet person gives complete print of his foot sole over the plane surface.

Q. 4 What is Round Shoulder?
Ans: Round Shoulders or arm around shoulder is a postural deformity in which the shoulders become round and sometimes they seem to be bent forward.

Q. 5 What are the causes of Round shoulder?
Ans: Causes of Round shoulder are:

  1. Due to heredity.
  2. By wearing very tight clothes.
  3. By sitting on improper furniture.
  4. By walking, sitting in bent position.
  5. Lack of proper exercise.

Q. 7 What is kyphosis?
Ans: Kyphosis is a forward rounding of upper back. Some rounding is normal but the term "Kyphosis" usually refers to and exaggerated rounding, more than 50 degrees.

Q. 8 What is bow legs?
Ans: Bow legs is a deformity in which knees are widely apart. There remains a wide gap between knees when a bow legged person keeps his feet together.

Q. 9 What is Scoliosis?
Ans: Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Scoliosis causes one shoulder down and other is raised up.

Q. 10 Which postural deformity is opposite to bow legs?
Ans: Knock knees is a deformity which is opposite to bow legs. Knock knees or Genu Velgum is a postural deformity in which the legs are bent inward and knees strike each other while walking or running.

Q. 11 Scoliosis is a postural deformity related with?
Ans: Scoliosis is a postural deformity related with the spine. It is a sideways curvature of the spine which causes one shoulder down and other is raised up.

Q. 12 Skipping a rope can cure which postural deformity?

Ans: Skipping a rope can cure flat foot postural deformity. Skipping rope for 5-10 minutes daily puts stress on your feet. This stress can develop arch in the feet, which can cure flat feet postural deformity.

10 Things You Might Not Know About the Elbow

The human body is an amazing thing. For each one of us, it's the most intimate object we know. And yet most of us don't know enough about it: its features, functions, quirks, and mysteries. Our series The Body explores human anatomy, part by part. Think of it as a mini digital encyclopedia with a dose of wow.

Unless you bang your funny bone or regularly play tennis, it's unlikely you spend a lot of time thinking about your elbow. But without this crucial joint, many daily activities would be impossible, explains Anand Murthi, attending orthopedic surgeon and chief of shoulder and elbow surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland.


The elbow may seem small, but it requires three bones to make its simple hinging action possible. The humerus is a long bone that runs from the shoulder socket to the radius and ulna. (And yes, there's a school of thought that believes your "funny bone"—actually your ulnar nerve—is named as a play on the word humorous.) The radius is one of the two forearm bones, running down from the elbow to the thumb side of the wrist. Lastly, the ulna stretches away from the pinkie side of the wrist. Thanks to those three bones, your arm can hinge—making it possible to do a bicep curl, lift a bag, or rotate your hand.


The bones of the elbow are connected by numerous tendons and ligaments, including the ulnar collateral ligament, a fibrous tissue that connects the humerus to the forearm bones. This tendon is both important and vulnerable. When it ruptures or tears, you feel severe pain and can sometimes even see bruising on the inside of your arm. It's a surprisingly common sports injury, plaguing players of baseball, football, ice hockey, and golf. The other major ligament in the joint is called the radial collateral ligament. Located on the outside of the elbow, it prevents excessive extension of the elbow, and is less prone to injury.


At the lower end of the humerus are two rounded protrusions called epicondyles, which flare out from the bone. This is where muscles attach. The upper end of the ulna also has two protrusions, called the olecranon—which forms the pointy part of the elbow—and the caronoid process, a projection from the front of the ulna. Bone fractures, especially in children, often occur at these epicondyles, and are the most common short-term injuries of the elbow. Certain kinds of arthritis, especially in older patients with osteoarthritis, can also cause such severe degeneration here that an elbow replacement is necessary. (Since bones become more brittle as we age, it's wise to take steps to prevent falling or stumbling, as elbows are among the most likely casualties.)


Children love the thrill of a jump on the trampoline, but Barbara Bergin, an orthopedic surgeon in Austin, Texas, tells Mental Floss that she sees numerous fractures around the elbow in kids from doing just that. It's so common to break elbows and wrists this way, the American Board of Pediatrics warns against trampolines.


But the major muscles involved in bending your arm are the triceps—on the back of your arm—and biceps, on the front of your arm. Your many smaller flexor and extensor muscles allow you to move your wrists and fingers and rotate your forearm.


One of the most common conditions of the elbow is called "tennis elbow"—or lateral epicondylitis. Tennis players are prone to it, but it can be caused by any repetitive bending and flexing of the elbow, says Bergin. It's a painful degeneration of the tendons that attach to the bone on the outside of the elbow. It's so common, she says, "I probably see tennis elbow every day in my office." If the condition should strike you, Bergin says, "It's critical to stop doing whatever hurts. It will not get better if you continue to participate in whatever activity is causing pain." Full and total healing is required before you can return to the activities that gave you the condition in the first place.


When major league pitcher Tommy John injured his ulnar collateral ligament in 1974, his doctor opted to try a unique surgery to replace the deteriorated ligament with a tendon from somewhere else. Though the surgery can require a full year's recovery time—in Tommy John's case, it was nearly two and a half years and two surgeries—it's since become a time-tested method to repair this damaged ligament. Murthi tells Mental Floss, "New research on repairing the medial collateral ligament (versus reconstructing it) may lead to earlier recovery for Tommy John surgery. Also new treatments for articular cartilage damage, ligament reconstruction, and joint sparing techniques are evolving."


The elbow's close proximity to important blood vessels and nerves in your hand and arm make it a challenge to perform surgery on, Murthi says: "Careful, precise surgery is required to provide a good outcome. Often, rehabilitation with a skilled therapist is crucial to a good recovery." Currently, many operations are performed arthroscopically, so that surgeons can see all the various components as they make delicate maneuvers.


Should you have the misfortune of losing part of an arm, it's better to lose the parts below the elbow, Bergin says. This helps you maintain a range of motion and allows you to better manipulate a prosthesis. Fortunately, upper extremity amputations are rare and almost always result from accidents, as compared to lower arm amputations, which are often caused by some form of vascular disease.


While you may be tempted to read that latest hefty bestseller late into the night, if you're keeping your elbows bent in a sitting position for too long, you can get a case of ulnar neuritis, inflammation of the ulnar nerve—which can lead to numbness or weakness of the fingers and hand. Bergin warns, "It's much more common now than it used to be because we sit around for hours at a time on our phones." If you experience a "little tingly feeling in the pinky and fourth finger," she says, you've probably got a case. Her recommendation is to take as many breaks with your arms straight out as you can. Switch to a kindle or laptop that you can prop up to read at night. Be conscious of your ergonomics when you drive, type, and use your electronics.


Sex manuals usually present a guide to sex positions. Sex manuals have a long history. In the Graeco-Roman era, a sex manual was written by Philaenis of Samos, possibly a hetaira (courtesan) of the Hellenistic period (3rd–1st century BC). [5] The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, believed to have been written in the 1st to 6th centuries, has a notorious reputation as a sex manual. Different sex positions result in differences in the depth of sexual penetration and the angle of penetration. Many attempts have been made to categorize sex positions. Alfred Kinsey categorized six primary positions, [6] The earliest known European medieval text dedicated to sexual positions is the Speculum al foderi, sometimes known as "The Mirror of Coitus" (or literally [ according to whom? ] "a mirror for fuckers"), a 15th-century Catalan text discovered in the 1970s. [7] [8]

These positions involve the insertion of a phallic object(s) (such as a penis, strap-on dildo, plug, or other nonporous object(s)) into a vagina, anus or mouth.

Penetrating partner on top with front entry

The most used sex position is the missionary position. In this position, the participants face each other. The receiving partner lies on their back with legs apart, while the penetrating partner lies on top. This position and the following variations may be used for vaginal or anal intercourse.

  • The penetrating partner stands in front of the receiving partner, whose legs dangle over the edge of a bed or some other platform like a table. [9]
  • With the receiving partner's legs lifted towards the ceiling and resting against the penetrating partner, this is sometimes called the butterfly position. This can also be done as a kneeling position.
  • The receiving partner lies on their back. The penetrating partner stands and lifts the receiving partner's pelvis for penetration. A variant is for the receiving partner to rest their legs on the penetrating partner's shoulders.
  • The receiving partner lies on their back, legs pulled up straight and knees near to the head. The penetrating partner holds the receiving partner's legs and penetrates from above.
  • Similarly to the previous position, but the receiving partner's legs need not be straight and the penetrating partner wraps their arms around the receiving partner to push the legs as close as possible to the chest. Called the stopperage in Burton's translation of The Perfumed Garden. [10]
  • The coital alignment technique, a position where a woman is vaginally penetrated by a man, and the penetrating partner moves upward along the woman's body until the penis is pointing down, the dorsal side of the penis now rubbing against the clitoris. [11]
  • The receiving partner crosses their feet behind their head (or at least puts their feet next to their ears), while lying on their back. The penetrating partner then holds the receiving partner tightly around each instep or ankle and lies on the receiving partner full-length. A variation is to have the receiving partner cross their ankles on their stomach, knees to shoulders, and then have the penetrating partner lie on the receiving partner's crossed ankles with their full weight. Called the Viennese oyster by The Joy of Sex. [12]

Penetrating from behind

Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration. Variants of the doggy style or doggy position include:

  • The receiving partner is on all fours with their torso horizontal and the penetrating partner inserts either their penis or sex toy into either the vagina or anus from behind. [13]
  • The receiving partner's torso is angled downwards and the penetrating partner raises their own hips above those of the receiving partner for maximum penetration.
  • The penetrating partner places their feet on each side of the receiving partner while keeping their knees bent and effectively raising up as high as possible while maintaining penetration. The penetrating partner's hands usually have to be placed on the receiving partner's back to keep from falling forward. [14]
  • The receiving partner kneels upright while the penetrating partner gently pulls the receiving partner's arms backwards at the wrists towards them.

In the spoons position both partners lie on their side, facing the same direction. [15] Variants of this technique include the following:

  • The receiving partner lies on their side. The penetrating partner kneels and penetrates from behind. Alternatively, the penetrating partner can stand if the receiving partner is on a raised surface.
  • The receiving partner lies facing down, possibly with their legs spread. The penetrating partner lies on top of them. [16] The placement of a pillow beneath the receiving partner's hips can help increase stimulation in this position.
  • The receiving partner lies face down, knees together. The penetrating partner lies on top with spread legs.
  • The receiving partner lies on their side with their uppermost leg forward. The penetrating partner kneels astride the receiver's lowermost leg.

Receiving partner on top

Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration. When the receiving partner is a woman, these positions are sometimes called the woman on top, or cowgirl positions.

A feature of these positions is that the penetrating partner lies on their back with the receiving partner on top:

  • The receiving partner can kneel while straddling the penetrating partner, with the participants facing each other.
  • Alternatively, the receiving partner can face away from the penetrating partner. This position is sometimes called the reverse cowgirl position.
  • The receiving partner can arch back with hands on the ground.
  • The receiving partner can squat (instead of kneel) facing the penetrating partner.
  • The receiving partner can bring forward their knees against the ground.
  • The penetrating partner lies with their upper back on a low table, couch, chair or edge of bed, keeping their feet flat on the floor and back parallel to floor. The receiving partner straddles them, also keeping their feet on the floor. Receiving partner can assume any of various positions.
  • The lateral coital position was recommended by Masters and Johnson, and was preferred by three quarters of their heterosexual study participants after having tried it. The position involves the male on his back, with the female rolled slightly to the side so that her pelvis is atop his, but her weight is beside his. [17] This position can also be used for anal penetration, and is not limited to heterosexual partners.

Sitting and kneeling

Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration.

  • The penetrating partner sits on an area surface, legs outstretched. The receiving partner sits on top and wraps their legs around the penetrating partner. Called pounding on the spot in the Burton translation of The Perfumed Garden. [10] If the penetrating partner sits cross-legged, it is called the lotus position or lotus flower. The position can be combined with fondling of erogenous zones.
  • The penetrating partner sits in a chair. The receiving partner straddles penetrating partner and sits, facing the penetrating partner, feet on floor. This is sometimes called a lap dance, which is somewhat erroneous as a lap dance typically does not involve penetration. The receiving partner may also sit in reverse, with their back to the penetrating partner.
  • The penetrating partner sits on a couch or in a chair that has armrests. The receiving partner sits in the penetrating partner's lap, perpendicular to penetrating partner, with their back against the armrest.
  • The penetrating partner kneels while the receiving partner lies on their back, ankles on each side of penetrating partner's shoulders. [10]


Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration. In the basic standing position, both partners stand facing each other. The following variations are possible:

  • In the basic standing position, both partners stand facing each other and engage in vaginal sex. In order to match heights, the shorter partner can, for instance, stand on a stair or wear high heels. It may be easier to maintain solid thrusts if the woman has her back to a wall. With such a support, the Kama Sutra calls this position the Suspended Congress. [18] This position is most often used in upright places, such as a wall in a bedroom or a shower.
  • The penetrating partner stands, and the receiving partner wraps their arms around his neck, and their legs around his waist, thereby exposing either the vagina or anus to the man's penis. This position is made easier with the use of a solid object behind the receiver, as above. To assume this position, it can be easier to start with the receiving partner laying on their back on the edge of a bed the penetrating partner puts his elbows under their knees, enters them, and then lifts them as he rises to a standing position. In Japan, this is colloquially called the Ekiben position, after a specific bento lunch box sold at train stations. [19]
  • Alternatively, the receiving partner can face away from the penetrating partner which allows for anal sex. This position is varied by having the receiving partner assume different semi-standing positions. For instance, they may bend at the waist, resting their hands or elbows on a table.

Anal sex positions

    penetration maximizes the depth of penetration, but can pose the risk of pushing against the sigmoid colon. If the receiving partner is male, this increases the chances of stimulating the prostate. The penetrating partner controls the thrusting rhythm. A variation is the leapfrog position, in which the receiving partner angles their torso downward. The receiving partner may also lie flat and face down, with the penetrating partner straddling their thighs.

Less common positions

These positions are more innovative, and perhaps not as widely known or practiced as the ones listed above.

  • The receiving partner lies on their back with knees up and legs apart. The penetrating partner lies on their side perpendicular to the receiver, with the penetrating partner's hips under the arch formed by receiver's legs. This position is sometimes called the T-square. [20]
  • The receiving partner's legs are together turning to one side while looking up towards the penetrator, who has spread legs and is kneeling straight behind the other's hips. The penetrator's hands are on the other's hips. This position can be called the modified T-square. [21]
  • The Seventh Posture of Burton's translation of The Perfumed Garden is an unusual position not described in other classical sex manuals. [10] The receiving partner lies on their side. The penetrating partner faces the receiver, straddling the receiver's lower leg, and lifts the receiver's upper leg on either side of the body onto the crook of penetrating partner's elbow or onto the shoulder. While some references describe this position as being "for acrobats and not to be taken seriously", [22] others have found it very comfortable, especially during pregnancy.
  • The piledriver is a difficult position sometimes seen in porn videos. It is described in many ways by different sources. In a heterosexual context, the woman lies on her back, then raises her hips as high as possible, so that her partner, standing, can enter her vaginally or anally. The position places considerable strain on the woman's neck, so firm cushions should be used to support her.
  • The receiver lies face down legs spread on the edge of the bed and parallel to the floor, while the penetrator stands behind, holding both legs.
  • The rusty bike pump is similar to a piledriver where penetration is achieved from above at a downward angle with the receiving partner bottom side up.


  • The receiving partner is on the bottom. The penetrating partner lies on top perpendicularly to them.
  • The penetrating partner lies on their back, legs spread. The receiving partner is on their back on top of the penetrator, legs spread, facing the opposite direction.
  • The penetrator and the receiver lie on their backs, heads pointed away from one another. Each places one leg on the other's shoulder (as a brace) and the other leg out somewhat to the side.
  • The receiving partner lies on their back with the penetrating partner lying perpendicular. The receiving partner bends the knee closest to the penetrating partner's head enough so that there is room for the penetrating partner's waist to fit beneath it, while the penetrating partner's legs straddle the receiving partner's other leg. The in-and-out thrusting action will move more along a side-to-side rather than top-to-bottom axis. This is sometimes called the scissors position. This position allows for breast stimulation during sex, for partners to maintain eye contact if they wish, and for a good view of both partners as they reach orgasm.
  • The penetrating partner sits on edge of a bed or chair with feet spread wide on floor. The receiving partner lies on their back on the floor and drapes their legs and thighs over the legs of the penetrating partner. The penetrating partner holds the knees of the receiving partner and controls thrusts.

Using furniture or special apparatus

Most sex acts are typically performed on a bed or other simple platform. As the range of supports available increases, so does the range of positions that are possible. Ordinary furniture can be used for this purpose. Also, various forms of erotic furniture and other apparatus such as fisting slings and trapezes have been used to facilitate even more exotic sexual positions.

Positions to promote or prevent conception

Pregnancy is a potential result of any form of sexual activity where sperm comes in contact with the vagina this is typically during vaginal sex, but pregnancy can result from anal sex, digital sex (fingering), oral sex, or by another body part, if sperm is transferred from one area to the vagina between a fertile female and a fertile male. Men and women are typically fertile during puberty. Though certain sexual positions are believed to produce more favorable results than others, none of these are effective means of contraception.

Positions during pregnancy

The goal is to prevent excessive pressure on the belly and to restrict penetration as required by the particular partners. Some of the positions below are popular positions for sex during pregnancy. [23]

  • Woman on top: takes the pressure off of the woman's abdomen and allows her to control the depth and frequency of thrusting.
  • Woman on back: like the missionary, but with less pressure on abdomen or uterus. The woman lies on her back and raises her knees up towards her chest. The partner kneels between her legs and enters from the front. A pillow is placed under her bottom for added comfort.
  • Sideways: also keeps pressure off of her abdomen while supporting her uterus at the same time.
  • Spooning: very popular positions to use during the late stages of pregnancy allowing only shallow penetration and relieves the pressure on the stomach.
  • Sitting: she mounts the sitting partner, relieving her stomach of pressure. : allowing her to support stomach and breasts.

Oral sex positions

Oral sex is genital stimulation by the mouth. It may be penetrative or non-penetrative, and may take place before, during, as, or following intercourse. It may also be performed simultaneously (for example, when one partner performs cunnilingus, while the other partner performs fellatio), or only one partner may perform upon the other this creates a multitude of variations. [24]


Fellatio is oral sex performed on a penis. Possible positions include:

  • Sitting
    • The receiver lies on his back while the partner kneels between his legs.
    • The receiver lies on his back while the partner lies off to the side of their legs.
    • The receiver sits in a chair the partner kneels in front of them between their legs.
    • The receiver stands while the partner either kneels in front of them or sits (in a chair or on the edge of a bed, etc.) and bends forward.
    • The receiver stands while the partner, also standing, bends forward at the waist.
    • The receiver stands or crouches at the edge of the bed, facing the bed. The active partner lies on the bed with their head hanging over the edge of the bed backward. The receiver inserts their penis into the partner's mouth, usually to achieve deep throat penetration.
    • While the active partner lies on their back, the receiver assumes the missionary position but adjusted forward.
    • The active partner (with breasts) lies on their back, and the receiver inserts their penis between the breasts, and into the mouth.


    Cunnilingus is oral sex performed on the vulva and vagina. Possible positions include:

    • The receiver lies on her back as in the missionary position. The active partner lies on their front between their legs.
    • The active partner sits. The receiver stands facing away and bends at the hips.
    • The active partner sits. The receiver stands or squats facing towards partner and may arch her back, to create further stimulation.
    • The active partner lies on their back while the receiver kneels with their legs at their sides and their genitals on their mouth. In other words, the receiver sits on the face of her partner.
    • The receiver rests on all fours as in the doggy style position. The partner lies on their back with their head under their genitalia. Their feet may commonly extend off the bed and rest on the floor.
    • The receiver services their own genitals. Although rarer, some people still find this possible [citation needed] see autofellatio.
    • The receiver stands, possibly bracing themself against a wall. The active partner kneels in front of them.
    • The receiver sits on the bed with her their open, the active partner kneels in front of them.
    • The receiver is upside-down (standing on hands, held by partner, or using support, such as bondage or furniture), with the active partner standing or kneeling (depending on elevation) in front or behind. Such a position may be difficult to achieve, or maintain for extended time periods, but the rush of blood to the brain can alter stimulation's effect.
    • The receiver stands on hands, resting each leg on either side of the active partner's head, with the active partner standing or kneeling facing them. Depending on which way up the receiver is facing, different stimulation and levels of comfort may be available.


    Simultaneous oral sex between two people is called 69. Partners may be female or male. They can lie side-by-side, lie one on top of the other, or stand with one partner holding the other upside down.


    Positions for anilingus, also known as butt licking, rimming, anal-oral sex, rimjob, or tossing the salad, are often variants on those for genital-oral sex. Anilingus can be performed in a number of sex positions including:

    • The passive partner is on all fours in the doggy position with the active partner behind.
    • The passive partner is on their back in the missionary position with their legs up.
    • The passive partner on top in the 69 position. [25][26]
    • The rusty trombone, in which a male stands while the active partner performs both anilingus from behind, generally from a kneeling position, and also performs masturbation on the standing partner, thus somewhat resembling someone playing the trombone. [27]

    Other positions

    • Fingering of the vulva, vagina or anus.
    • Shocker: simultaneous fingering of the vagina and anus using one hand. The index and middle finger are inserted in the vagina, and the pinky in the anus. A number of variations are possible by using different combinations of fingers in each orifice.
    • Fisting: inserting the entire hand into the vagina or anus. This usually requires large amounts of lubricant and relaxation. The hand is usually not actually made into a fist, but instead the thumb is placed between the middle and ring fingers. Fisting can cause laceration or perforation of the vagina, perineum, rectum, or colon, resulting in serious injury and even death. [28][29][30][31][32]

    Non-penetrative sex or frottage generally refers to a sexual activity that excludes penetration, and often includes rubbing one's genitals on one's sexual partner. This may include the partner's genitals or buttocks, and can involve different sex positions. As part of foreplay or to avoid penetrative sex, people engage in a variety of non-penetrative sexual behavior, which may or may not lead to orgasm.

    • Mutual masturbation: The manual stimulation of the penis or scrotum in males and the clitoris or entire vulva in females. Partners simultaneously stimulating each other's genitals by mutual or simultaneous masturbation, rhythmic inter-genital contact friction or actual penetrative intercourse can lead to orgasm in one partner or the other (or sometimes simultaneously in both).
    • Dry humping: frottage while clothed. This act is common, although not essential, in the dance style known as "grinding".
    • Handjob or fingering: Manual stimulation of a partner's penis, scrotum, clitoris or entire vulva. Known as "wanking" in the UK, and "fapping" in modern colloquial terms.
    • Footjob: using the feet to stimulate the penis.
    • Mammary intercourse: using the breasts together to stimulate the penis through the cleavage. (Should not be confused with a "boob job" meaning to have augmentive surgery done on the breasts.) Also called a titjob, titty-fucking, a tit-wank several other slang terms exist.
    • Axillary intercourse: with the penis in the armpit. Commonly known as "bagpiping".
    • Orgasm control: By self or by a partner managing the physical stimulation and sensation connected with the emotional and physiologic excitement levels. Through the practice of masturbation an individual can learn to develop control of their own body's orgasmic response and timing. In partnered stimulation either partner can control their own orgasmic response and timing. With mutual agreement either partner can similarly learn to control or enhance their partner's orgasmic response and timing. Partner stimulation orgasm techniques referred to as expanded orgasm, extended orgasm or orgasm control can be learned and practiced for either partner to refine their control of the orgasmic response of the other. Partners mutually choose which is in control or in response to the other.
    • Orgasmic meditation, [33] is a mindfulness practice where the object of meditation is conscious finger to genital contact. "OMing" is practiced in pairs, with one partner, gently holding the genitals with both hands, and that partner's index finger gently, precisely, slowly stroking the female’s clitoris specifically and with both parties placing their complete awareness mindfully on that localized point of contact between them. Both practitioners focus their fullest attention on their sensitive nerve endings and on their finest muscle control in stroking movement to develop connective (limbic) resonance between practitioners. The outcome, is not simply orgasm but interpersonal connection.

    The slang term humping may refer to masturbation—thrusting one's genitals against the surface of non-sexual objects, clothed or unclothed or it may refer to penetrative sex.

    Genital-genital rubbing

    Genital-genital rubbing (often termed GG rubbing by primatologists to describe the behavior among female bonobos [34] [35] ) is the sexual act of mutually rubbing genitals it is sometimes grouped with frottage, but other terms, such as non-penetrative sex or outercourse, are also used:

    • Intercrural sex, or interfemoral sex: the penis is placed between the partner's thighs, perhaps rubbing the vulva, scrotum or perineum.
    • Frot or frottage: two males mutually rubbing penises together.
    • Tribadism or tribbing: two females mutually rubbing vulvae together.
    • Docking: mutual masturbation by inserting the glans penis into the foreskin of another penis.

    People may participate in group sex. While group sex does not imply that all participants must be in sexual contact with all others simultaneously, some positions are only possible with three or more people. [36]

    As with the positions listed above, more group sex positions become practical if erotic furniture is used.


    When three people have sex with each other, it is called a threesome. Possible ways of having all partners in sexual contact with each include some of the following:

    • One person performs oral sex on one partner while they engage in receptive anal or vaginal intercourse with the other partner. Sometimes called a spit roast. [37]
    • The 369 position is where two people engage in oral sex in the 69 position while a third person positions himself to penetrate one of the others usually a man engaging in sex doggie-style with the woman on top in the 69 position. [38]
    • A man has vaginal or anal sex with one partner, while himself being anally penetrated by another (possibly with a strap-on dildo).
    • Three partners lie or stand in parallel, with one between the other two. Sometimes called a sandwich. This term may specifically refer to the double penetration of a woman, with one penis in her anus, and the other in her vagina or of a male, with two penises in his anus.
    • Two participants have vaginal/anal sex with each other, and one/both perform oral sex on a third.
    • Three people perform oral/vaginal/anal sex on one another simultaneously, commonly called a daisy chain.
    • The slang term lucky Pierre is sometimes used in reference to the person playing the middle role in a threesome, being anally penetrated while engaging in penetrative anal or vaginal sex. [39]


    • A 469 is a four-person sexual position where two individuals engage in 69 oral sex while a third and a fourth person both position themselves on each end to penetrate the two engaged in simultaneous oral sex similar to a 369, with the addition of a fourth person. [40]

    With many participants

    These positions can be expanded to accommodate any number of participants:

    • A group of males masturbating is called a circle jerk.
    • A group of males masturbating and ejaculating on one person's face is known as bukkake. [41][42]
    • A group of men, women, or both, each performing oral sex upon each other, in a circular arrangement, is a daisy chain. [43]
    • When one woman or man is given the serial or parallel attention of many, often involving a queue (pulling a train), it is often termed a gang bang.

    Multiple penetration

    A person may be sexually penetrated multiple times simultaneously. Penetration may involve use of fingers, toes, sex toys, or penises. Scenes of multiple penetration are common in pornography.

    If one person is penetrated by two objects, it is generically called double penetration (DP). [44] Double penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth can involve:

    • Simultaneous penetration of the anus by two penises or other objects. This is commonly called double anal penetration (DAP) or double stuffing. [citation needed]
    • Simultaneous penetration of the vagina by two penises or other objects. This is commonly called double vaginal penetration (DVP) or double stuffing. [45]
    • Simultaneous penetration of the vagina and anus. If this is done using penises and/or strap-on dildos, this is sometimes called the sandwich or BigMac. [citation needed] The shocker (see above) accomplishes this using several fingers of one hand.
    • Simultaneous penetration of the mouth and either the vagina or anus. If the penetrating objects are penises, this is sometimes called the spit roast, the Chinese finger trap, or the Eiffel tower. [citation needed]

    In 1974, Alex Comfort categorized more than 600 [46] and Gershon Legman categorized 3,780. [47] However, the suggestion that the number of positions that can be used for sex is essentially limitless also exists. [4]

    Some people are limited by physical disabilities in the sex positions which they may use without pain or other discomfort. Other physical limitations of one or both participants also limit the sex positions which they may adopt. For example, the spoons position is recommended when either partner has back problems the starfish position is recommended to achieve orgasms more easily and the missionary position may be uncomfortable for the receiving partner if the weight of the inserting partner, relative to the receiving partner's, is a problem. Also, the standing positions may be unsuitable if there is a significant height difference between the participants, unless the female is being carried.

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    I have double jointed elbows, fingers, and I don't know about my thumb, I think it may count as being double jointed, but I am not sure. I can bend them back below where my my index finger begins at the joint. My cousin can bend her knees back really far, but I cannot, and she cannot do the things that I can with my elbows, fingers, and thumbs.

    I'm double jointed in my wrists, arms, hips, shoulders and ankles. I didn't know what it was called until today.

    The only problem I've found is I had to stop playing the flute. My fingers locked all the time. I'm almost 30 years old and I haven't worked out much in my life, so I don't know if its something you can become. I can even bend at my hips and reach my toes, without bending my legs. It's weird! I've heard there are a lot of problems this can make later in life. anon354868 November 11, 2013

    There is actually no such "medical condition" by the name "double jojnted". The proper name is hyper flexible or hyper mobile. Look up "Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome" and read about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hyper-Mobility type. If you suspect you have it, Join some of the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome support groups.

    Many members of my family have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It is genetic, so check it out. There are a few facebook groups. Maybe start there where you can hear from the others who live with it. anon347418 September 6, 2013

    I was double jointed as a young child, and now I am 15 and am more flexible than most people, but definitely not as much as I should be. Is it possible to not be double jointed if you don't stretch or anything! I want to be as flexible as I was when I was little. anon332337 April 28, 2013

    I've always been able to put my feet behind my head and still can. @54: People always called it double-jointed, but my doctor said there was no such thing. I was never able to do the contortionist acts with my fingers or thumbs they were normal.

    One week ago, I started waking up with my right thumb out of joint. Today, all of the fingers on that hand are out of joint, as well as the thumb now on the left. This takes several hours to subside even when my fingers are immobilized. It is almost impossible to type now. Any clues? anon314403 January 17, 2013

    Basically, I think I'm like double jointed on the left side of my body. My fingers are double jointed for sure. For exampled, when I'm bending it backward, it could go back a lot and if I straighten it, curving it up like you're looking at a ring, and then put it back to a relaxed hand position, there's that sound. The same goes for the wrist.

    When I walk sometimes, it jolts backward like out of nowhere. I don't know if this is because I'm double joint or what, but when I was younger, I would feel like the joints of my leg are somehow dislocated and when I try to get up, it really hurts if I'm in sitting position or getting down, as if I were on my knees and then sitting down on them. I am sometimes afraid because my sister said that later on my fingers might be deformed. anon308793 December 12, 2012

    I'm double-jointed in my fingers, thumbs, toes and very slightly in my elbows. I'm worried, though. My Dad has fibromyalgia and arthritis which are both caused by being double-jointed. I might end up the same way. And it makes my hands sore when writing. But I'm only 16. Shouldn't be worrying yet. anon304022 November 17, 2012

    I am double jointed in my ankles, toes, my fingers (I can bend the top of my fingers in without touching them), my jaw, a little in both elbows and knees, thumbs (I can bend the top of my thumb outwards and bring the base of my thumb into my hand at the same time). I'm also double jointed in my shoulders, and I can twist my tongue all the way around. My mum tells me not to do this stuff but sometimes it happens on its own! Plus I'm only eight. anon291773 September 16, 2012

    I have double jointed shoulders and shoulder blades, and my mom thinks my thumbs are too. I can do some little things with my knees, hips, and fingers, but I don't think that it really counts. I can dislocate my shoulder three different ways, and one aches. It looks like I have a hole in my shoulder. anon284816 August 12, 2012

    My double joints weren't a problem until I started playing the violin. anon284230 August 9, 2012

    I'm double jointed in my knees and ankles, and find myself falling pretty often when my ankles collapse out of nowhere, and my knees bend in a way that just feels completely wrong. I can also pull my thumb on my left hand, and some of my fingers out of their sockets and bend them backward(fun times at school).

    I know of a few times where being double jointed has prevented me from spraining an ankle or causing some other injury to myself, but I know of just as many cases where I've been hurt when one of my joints went wrong at a bad time.

    What really stinks about it is that my knees have started to go backward randomly while I walk, and my arms have started to come out of joint (with painful results) and I'm not even out of school yet. I wish I had my mom's joints instead of my dad's. anon282234 July 28, 2012

    I am double jointed in my fingers, my big toes and my elbows. When I was younger, I used them to freak out my friends. Now (at age 21), my fingers sometimes hurt for no reason, my elbows also hurt when I'm at work and when I was around four through nine, my feet used to curl in on themselves and get stuck for an hour each time. My finger occasionally locks into place, but thankfully, it isn't that common anymore. anon277143 June 28, 2012

    I saw some comments of people with double jointed arms who can flip them around backward and have no disadvantages. A year ago I would have agreed, until I took a weightlifting class at my school. I'm double jointed in my elbows and wrists, as well as partially in my shoulders. I sometimes have a problem where my arm refuses to function normally, such as when it's twisted to a certain degree, pressure can lock it in that position, and it refuses to return to a normal position.

    I can't lift weights over my head behind my back, because when I lower them my arms flip halfway around and the joints lock in place, so I am unable to lift the weights again and they have to be picked up off my shoulders. This happens every time with more than 25 pounds. Other than that it's extremely useful, giving me above average range of motion.

    I also can't effectively use a bow and arrow, because my elbow can bend backward and does when my arm is fully extended, gets in the way and knocks the arrow off course. anon254665 March 14, 2012

    I am double jointed in my thumbs, ankles, toes, and back. I mostly just mess with my friends with it so that's fun. And it's nice to be able to do pushups on your back. anon253785 March 10, 2012

    I can pull my arm all the way over my head. All my bones but my fingers are double jointed. anon252716 March 6, 2012

    I have double joints in my elbows.

    They bend backward very easily by about 30 degrees (I measured it!).

    I don't find them inconvenient, just fun! I don't normally show them off in public, however, due to embarrassment.

    They are quite useful, too! I can support myself for like half an hour without using any energy at all! I put my hand down on something to lean on, then just bend the arm backward and relax. The weight of my body supports me.

    I don't know of any disadvantages, except that I sometimes get laughed at in public when I lean on my arms. I have had reactions of both amusement and dislike from others who have seen them. anon252444 March 5, 2012

    It's not always good to be double jointed. I have recently found out I have Ehler Danlos Syndrome, which is why I could always do such weird things with my joints, but along with this came a lot of pain.

    I now have to take a cocktail of drugs to function, but still manage to run my own company. I am now waiting for a second operation on my back which is caused by my EDS and have to have ultrasound each week on my knees.

    If you have any pain with your ability to move your body in a weird way please go and see if you have EDS as you are doing damage to yourself that can't be repaired if you push the joints too far. anon242969 January 25, 2012

    O.K. I'm double jointed in the thumbs, wrists and shoulders. I can do neat tricks with my wrists and shoulders to scare friends or creep any possible bullies out. It's a useful tool for getting through school completely scot free without sucking up your dignity and pretending you like the same garbage they do.

    But O.K. I've been rambling. The reason I did not repeat the word thumb earlier is that I find it tends to stick if I do it too often, but it's just so tempting to do it and get a table all to myself in the canteen. anon238186 January 2, 2012

    You shouldn't pop your joints in and out. If you can, the socket will wear and you won't be able to pop them in anymore. anon233918 December 9, 2011

    I've been double jointed since birth, and my knees were bowed out from running around too early (I never walked). My fingers used to all bend back and touch my hand, freaking schoolmates out!

    I also used to sprain my ankles a lot because my foot would just "fall over" sideways and I'd be standing on my ankle. Ouch, that hurt.

    I decided I liked gymnastics and in one week, I was doing all the splits, backflips and putting my feet on my head with no training or stretching.

    But now I'm 41 and the pain in my elbows is permanent. My knees lock and I to have twist to click them loose.

    My chiropractor says that my tendons are starting fray, like string left in the sun too long. No more fun.

    But I do think that being double jointed has prevented me breaking any bones after falling off horses, off motorbikes and my roller skates. anon229596 November 14, 2011

    I'm wondering if I can find any info on this. I'm double jointed in my left thumb, and what it looks like is I am pushing the base joint of my thumb into my hand. My friend can pop her thumb out and her mom looked it up on google, she found out it was a birth defect, that the joint is up higher than normal. So is mine a birth defect, too? anon228476 November 8, 2011

    I am double jointed in my shoulders and elbows. I found this out when I was in fifth grade. I'm in seventh grade now. I mostly do it to freak out my friends. anon225645 October 27, 2011

    I'm double jointed in my knees. I can bend my leg backward at the knee cap. I haven't really read anyone talking about this and it's hard to find out about it on the web. There isn't much. I'm hoping it doesn't lead to problems.

    I don't do it too much. I have shown people and walked with both knees back because it looks funny, but after reading some stuff on here, I don't think I'm going to purposely do it anymore.

    I find myself standing or leaning sometimes at work and will bend my leg backward without knowing it because it's more comfortable to stand.

    On another note, my legs from knee down kind of go outwards. I naturally have a duck stance and find it impossible to keep my feet straight when I try to do squats with weights without it hurting. anon221376 October 11, 2011

    I am double jointed in my fingers, second, third and fourth toes, elbows and shoulders. So far I don't see any negative effects of it and it's all cool because I get to do those fun tricks to freak out my friends in parties. One trick I can't do but wish I could is putting my hands behind my back and bringing them to the front without disconnecting but I know other cool tricks too, that are fun to show off. anon218718 September 30, 2011

    I'm 13 and I'm double jointed in my feet. I can bend them down until my toes touch the ground without bending my knees, so when I lie down I can have everything flat without my feet sticking up in the air. anon211905 September 4, 2011

    I am double jointed in my wrists, my shoulders and both my index fingers. I cannot throw a ball far properly, I have always had problems with it. I have little accuracy and I often end up hurting myself.

    I can pop my shoulder and wrist joints out and then just spring them back in. It's a hassle when I have to carry something heavy though because often my joints will just pop out suddenly, I have to put whatever I am carrying down and put them back in with my opposite hand if this happens. If I try to pop it back in while still carrying the weight then it is extremely painful and I find I cannot pop them back in. anon210296 August 30, 2011

    I am double jointed in my elbows. I discovered this about a year ago in gym class. When I stretched out my arms, the elbow was kind of bending backward and it was freaking people out. It was funny though, and since then I bend them just for fun or to gross out my friends. I have no pain at all, luckily. anon208838 August 24, 2011

    My one year old son sucks his thumb and has been regularly dislocating it. He doesn't seem too concerned other than asking me to fix it. He is being seen by specialists and participates in physio-therapy for Hypotonia. We have yet to have a firm diagnosis, and are continuing to search for one.

    He has hypermobility in all of his joints. Many of the comments here have made me more concerned than I originally was. But I appreciate the comments from everyone. It helps to know what he may be experiencing and what may be an issue/problem in the future. anon206864 August 18, 2011

    Being double jointed in all my finger joints and thumb stinks. Whenever I play an instrument, which is quite frequently, they will just pop out. It doesn't hurt but it's a nuisance. anon206275 August 15, 2011

    i am double jointed on both my arms. i can seriously twist my arm 360 degrees. anon195489 July 11, 2011

    Both of my pinky fingers are double jointed. I can make my pinky go through a clenched fist. I play piano and am unable to properly curve my pinkies. Also, my thumbs are very flexible. I can make the tip of my thumbs touch where a three-quarter-length sleeve would end at. anon194635 July 8, 2011

    I'm 22 and have been double jointed as long as I can remember. My index finger bends back so far it can touch the back side of my hand, all of my fingers bend back to 90 degree angles. my thumbs, my shoulders dislocate very easily, my wrists dislocate and are very flexible, my knees and hips dislocate. None of my double jointedness is painful, though. My knees and elbows and hands ache sometimes but that's about the extent of it.

    My question is: Is there any reason for me to see a doctor about my joints? I can see it being more of a problem when I get older. anon178027 May 19, 2011

    I'm double-jointed in pretty much every way. All of my fingers, thumbs, toes, wrists, my knees (not much, thankfully), my shoulders, and my hips.

    Like anon11047 said, it sucks to have it in the shoulders, because throwing is painful. (I play hockey, and so far I'm OK, but my older brother had some problems with his right arm from shooting and the socket being loose -- scared of that). I used to be able to throw very hard and far when I was little - albeit with no accuracy! - but it's quite painful now. I can pop my arms out just by leaning on them (I think I slept wrong last night and my left one hurts to lift right now), and sometimes they come out if I'm carrying something and un-flex my muscles for a moment.

    I recently found out that this happens with my wrists as well, I knew that I could squeeze and my hands would lift off - didn't do this on purpose! It's scary - but I was just holding my stick and I turned a little and it came out. A while ago I also had some pain in them (not carpal tunnel sort of pain, in the actual wrist, felt like it was damaged) and I think it may have been related.

    My hips are terrible, my cousin also has hips like mine, although hers pop loudly when she twists them out (she's not athletic, though, so no problems for her).

    I can't do a lot of core exercises, mostly involving laying on my back and lifting my legs and going side to side, because a) they come out and b) it hurts a lot. I used to be flexible easily (could put both feet up on my knees), but now I can't even sit cross-legged as it hurts.

    And sometimes, I can just be walking and I'll have pain in my hips, too. I also sometimes have this in my ankles, which sucks. I always walk it off, but it's really obnoxious because I have to slow down.

    Thankfully, I have no problems with my fingers, toes, elbows, or knees! But the irony is that I have super tight calves and hamstrings, and charlie horses are not fun. And, I'm only 15. anon171802 May 1, 2011

    I'm 31 and have only double jointed thumbs. One lady was freaking out at my thumb because it was bending back. She was saying, "Oh my God! You are a person not to be messed with!" I was like, "What are you on, lady? They're only double jointed."

    She was saying with full meaning "That's not double jointed! They call that the muderer's thumb," and she was looking at me like I was going kill someone!

    I told her was all bull crap and I don't believe in palm reading your hands and thumbs! i was totally offended. I'm a loving, caring person, so don't judge me on my double jointed thumbs, thank you very much! anon171765 May 1, 2011

    I'm double jointed in my hands. It's great because I play Clarinet. When I met my instructor, we were a great fit because she has it too. anon170217 April 25, 2011

    I hate being double jointed. whenever I am benching weights my elbow pops as I am lowering the weight, and afterward my elbow is sore. I play baseball and am 14. I don't want to wreck my elbow but I need to lift weights. what can help? anon166350 April 8, 2011

    Well I am twenty one. When I was about sixteen, I found out that I can dislocate my left wrist. I had a habit of doing this quite often. Now any type of pressure to my wrist joint causes awful pain, which inhibits me from doing a lot of everyday activities. Just because double jointed people can dislocate joints like I can does not mean you should do it. Trust me: I have to go under the knife because I was careless. anon166220 April 7, 2011

    I am double jointed all over my body. People laugh and say I'm triple jointed. My father was more hypermobile than me, which I can't fathom what more you can be. My body does sprain easier than most, but I also heal much faster and on my own without the doctors. I love it!

    This is what made me for 15 years and to this day a good gymnast and martial artist, though I do have to say at 32 years old, I am experiencing some form of arthritis and normal pain killers don't work. But I've had a mild form or pain, which I also thought to be just feeling uncomfortable, till recently for years. anon165717 April 5, 2011

    I'm 13 and I'm double jointed in all my fingers! it's so much fun freaking people out and making my best friend burst into laughter! anon165125 April 3, 2011

    I'm double jointed in both of my thumbs, my wrists, all of my fingers, both of my big toes, shoulders, and I'm not even a teen yet. anon164627 April 1, 2011

    I'm double jointed in my arms, wrist, legs, fingers, neck, eyes, ears, nose, lip/mouth, and pretty much a lot of other places. my brother is just the same and we're 11. we love freaking out our friends, family, and classmates. we're as pale as vampires and a lot of people think we're aliens. rock on double joints! anon163709 March 28, 2011

    I am 36 going on 37. I am double jointed in my fingers, knees and my legs, for i can sit with one of my legs crossed and the heel up by my rear end and the other leg under that and it is not uncomfortable to me at all. In fact, I can even bend my fingers a certain way and it doesn't hurt them either.

    I can also fold both of my legs and walk on my knees. You all are talking about arthritis when all you have to do is drink a lot of milk to keep calcium in your bones. anon161982 yesterday

    I'm double-jointed in my fingers, so whenever i do a thumbs up, people freak out because i bend my thumb in a weird way (not that i mind). yet it is fun to freak out people. And my sister is double jointed in the arms, so she never usually puts her arms out straight. anon161783 March 21, 2011

    I have double-jointed shoulder blades and ankles. The former continues to rest in a gray area between convenience and pain while the latter causes my posture to suffer.

    The former holds a trade-off between not feeling pain with having my arms pulled behind my back and massive amounts of pain when my shoulder blades force outwards when I perform some kind of physical activity, such as bench pressing.

    Hypermobility seems to be a double-edged sword in the sense that it affords people additional mobility that they would not otherwise have, but it can also cause great amounts of pain. anon160613 March 16, 2011

    I'm 13 and i'm double jointed in lots of different places. I like it very much. It helps me a lot, since I do lots of different sports. Also I go to a martial arts club and we learn a lot of things on how to hurt someone real bad by bending their body parts improperly. The best thing is that is that it does not hurt me at all!

    In lessons like Geography I get bored and start playing about with my arms, bending them in different 'Gross,' as people say, ways. It's so fun. People just look at you in a weird way and think you are some person from another planet, but say, "That is so cool teach me!" and you tell them how to do it then they can't, and you just end up being the center of attention. anon160034 March 14, 2011

    My 9 year old daughter is double jointed. She is amazing at gymnastics, but her wrist joints are so unstable that she is in agony trying to hold a pen still to write with. The school shouted at her for years until we recently figured out the problem. anon153301 February 17, 2011

    Seeing this makes me feel normal. I am double jointed from my fingers and people have always told me that it's weird, but I like it. I like having something to do when am bored in class.

    Never had problems with it and it doesn't hurt when I bend it in weird ways. Even though people think it's gross, I like being double jointed. I just hope it doesn't affect me when I get older. anon153212 February 16, 2011

    I think this article is not very good at informing people of the negative affect hypermobility can have on people. If you have hypermobility and pain / dislocations / subluxations then it can be part of a more serious condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I have this and it affects me every day.

    I am 26 years old and have limited mobility, dislocate regularly and suffer from chronic pain amongst other things. While I don't want to scare people, I do think people need to be made more aware of medical conditions related to hypermobility.

    The article states that being double jointed doesn't mean you are over extending your joints it just means you are using them to the fullest capability. This is just plain wrong! Your ligaments are only designed to stretch so far, if you stretch them too far then they are likely to damage. I see a top specialist in London and he would be horrified if he read this article!

    For all the others that have posted above, please don't overstretch your joints, it is not good and can result in damage. For those that are 'double jointed' and dislocate, please see your doctor! anon151618 February 10, 2011

    I'm double jointed from my arms. I didn't notice it until a few months ago when my friend asked me what's wrong with my arms when i stretched them. Everyone gets creeped out when i twist them. anon146676 January 27, 2011

    I'm double jointed in my legs, and all my friends think it's really nasty to see how far back my legs go. anon136909 December 24, 2010

    Not all human beings have the same amount of muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons. Anyone who is "double jointed" has an extra bone for every joint that holds the characteristic.

    I recently shattered my wrist and my surgeon told me so. He even showed me an X-ray of my own wrist as well as one of a "normal" wrist and the extra bone was clearly visible. These extra bones are connected, just like any other bone would be. They simply allow for a slightly larger range of motion. anon133936 December 12, 2010

    i am double jointed in my shoulders. i am 10 and i don't feel pain but it is cool to gross the boys in my class out. anon133864 December 12, 2010

    I have weird muscles in my back. i can dislocate my shoulder blades very easily and they can sometimes dislocate at their own accord, but because of the way the muscles are in my back, i get a lot of muscle knots.

    i can also twist my arms all the way around in a circle. anon129167 yesterday

    I'm double jointed in my fingers, toes, shoulders, ankles and wrists and I like it sometimes, but others are just a pain! Like, i swim a lot and one time i took a dive and popped my shoulder out (i mean i could hear it pop under water!).

    So now it hurts sometimes if i overwork it and it just comes out on its own (it doesn't hurt anymore, thank God!) I also broke my thumb and i can actually extend it to be longer! but now it has some arthritis in it so it hurts sometimes. Just about any injury that i get in one of those joints doesn't hurt when i get them but the aftermath is typically bad! But on the up side I'm good at sports and i am unbeatable at thumb wrestling! Lol. and by they way, I'm 14! anon125590 November 9, 2010

    i have double jointed thumbs, wrists, elbows and shoulders. it's a huge pain. whenever i try to bend my arm straight, my elbow 'locks' in and pops back out, extremely painfully. same with my wrists and thumbs. being on the swim team, i always overextend my shoulders, and once on a dive, my shoulder popped completely out and i had to have the coach shove it back in. Ow. double jointed is not cool. anon124101 November 4, 2010

    I am double jointed so to say in every joint. I went to an Orthopedic when I messed up my shoulder and found my tendon in the front part is an inch too long! He then told me that I will just continue to have problems later in life, well I'm almost 19 and later in life is now. I am having issues in all my joints already. anon119375 October 17, 2010

    I'm double jointed in my shoulders and elbows. Thank god they don't hurt. when i sleep my shoulders pop out though its a minor annoyance. I do MMA, and its very difficult to armbar me. I'm starting to drink lots of milk and other things to strengthen my bones because arthritis and being double jointed does run in my family. anon116548 October 7, 2010

    Well, I've found being double-jointed to be a real pain in the neck. I'm constantly turning in bed and dislocating my feet, toes, etc. It hurts like crap and is almost impossible to correct! I also can't point my toes anymore to swim, dance, etc. or they pop out of place. It's horrible. anon114524 September 29, 2010

    I'm double jointed and man does it hurt . anon114522 September 29, 2010

    being double jointed is fun when you're young, but I'm now 15 and bloody hate it! i can't sleep with my head flat on a pillow because if i do then my jaw will try to come out of its socket and so i have to sleep on the sofa sitting upright and i have a really bad back because of it. If i walk anywhere for too long, then my back will hurt. I can't do most of the things i could do when i was young and that makes me sad.

    Please get yourself seen to, or believe me, you will never forgive yourselves. Thank you all for reading what i had to say. Take care, really. anon114419 September 28, 2010

    my left elbow is double jointed. I can twist it and it looks broken. It makes my sister sick. It's so funny. But it really does look broken and weird. My right elbow can't do it just the left. anon113667 September 25, 2010

    I am double jointed in my toes. I can walk on my toe knuckles and it doesn't hurt. I have been doing this ever since i could walk. i also have either TMJ or a double jointed jaw. anon112547 September 20, 2010

    i am double jointed but i don't tell people that i can do a lot of stuff like connect my arms and like put it all around my body without me unlocking them. i can also flip my arms and legs and fingers and toes backward really far and i can turn both of my legs into a 360 without both of my legs lifting. anon107589 August 31, 2010

    I have double jointed knees and i love the feeling of overstretching them. The thing is that now i have posture problems because of that and i feel like I'm having blood circulation problems in my legs.

    I'm doing yoga and i have a really hard time with balance postures because my knees tend to shake. anon102535 August 8, 2010

    I'm double jointed in my thumbs, and in all the joints in the fingers. My wrist I can dislocate and lock in place. My elbows are somewhat double jointed. My shoulders I can dislocate just from the muscle being used in them. my hips dislocate also and it's annoying sometimes.

    I can twist my knees just from the muscles there, just like in my shoulders. I think my ankles are also, because they pop and crack all the time. Also my toes are like my fingers. Oh, and i can also dislocate my fingers. It freaks people out more than just bending them. lol. anon101558 August 4, 2010

    I can connect my arms in front of me and rotate them all the way over my head in a complete 360 and touch my butt without disconnecting my hands. Double jointed? I think so. anon101550 August 3, 2010

    I have double jointed fingers too! I feel so normal now that I know tons of other people can do this too. The only other person I know who can do this also is my older brother, but I can bend mine further than his. I'm starting to do yoga so that my whole body is flexible too! anon101446 August 3, 2010

    I am double-jointed in the elbows, thumbs, fingers, and possibly kneecaps. I can bend my elbow back in the opposite way it is supposed to. i can also twist both my arms outwardly twice, which makes my inner elbow part stick out (i can only do it one arm at a time). and I've had a guy friend of mine twist around my arm inwardly to hurt my arm, but i felt nothing.

    I can bend both of my thumbs at a 90 degree angle and i can have my fingers so that the whole finger is straight, except for the end part. My kneecaps can move around and they poke out at the far sides when my knee is straight and relaxed.

    It's nice to see so many other double-jointed people, because I only know of one other double-jointed person at my school and I'm always asking my grandmother "is this normal?" when i do something. I have danced since i was five and I have always known my elbows were odd, but i discovered about a year ago that I am double-jointed. anon100408 July 29, 2010

    I think I have a double jointed hip. if I lift my leg any higher than 45° it feels likes in an awkward position and it pops. as a dancer i am very flexible but when I kick, the pop is so distracting and gross- sounding. i also think I am double jointed in my back. I have been doing ballet for two years and i have a perfect combo pack and a stunning arabesque, but sometimes I feel like I'm going to snap in half. Is that normal? also I am double jointed in my thumb. anon96271 July 15, 2010

    To a question asked earlier, I too as a small child was aware that my fingers were double jointed. Now, at 66 years of age, my fingers are swollen with arthritis, so yes, I would say people with double joints will be prone to arthritis.

    I cannot understand why there is not an awareness/confirmation/warning of this. My recommendations? Keep moving, keep off the medication as long as possible, try alternative medication. It worked for me inasmuch as the pain is not too bad. It is just inconvenient not being able to do certain tasks, e.g. use scissors. anon95741 July 13, 2010

    I found people like me! It's hard to find people who can be flexible like this. I'm double jointed in my elbow, shoulders, fingers, my whole upper body practically and my knees.

    I'm able to dislocate the bone in my socket painlessly, bend my arm backward, pull fingers back, and bend my knees backward. I don't know if this is from double jointedness, but I'm also able to have something inside my hands start popping, almost as if it's boiling. Might be some sort of chain reaction with bones or something -- I don't know.

    It feels as if every centimeter of my hand is cracking continuously. Greatest way to freak out people. anon95631 July 13, 2010

    i play guitar so is annoying for me to play it. anon94624 July 9, 2010

    I can turn my shoulder all the way upside down until my arm is above my head facing the wrong way. I'm not sure if this means I'm double jointed or not - maybe I'm just the creepy flexible person my friends suspect! anon94275 July 7, 2010

    i'm double jointed in my fingers. it is so cool to be double jointed! anon93757 July 5, 2010

    My elbows are double jointed. I can make them bend really far and stick out of my arm. My fingers are double jointed too and I can bend them almost all the way backward at the same time. My friends think it's creepy. anon91897 June 24, 2010

    I am double jointed in my shoulders, arms, legs and thumbs. I can make a hole in my shoulder and can easily pop my thumb out of socket. anon91613 18 hours ago

    I'm double jointed in my thumbs and shoulders. I can bend my thumbs to touch the back of my hands. I can also nearly dislocate my arms from the socket of my shoulder. The sounds of the bones grinding against each other can be heard but it doesn't hurt at all. I love it!

    Also, it runs in my family. My brother can move his shoulder blades out of his back and make what looks to be wings with them. I am double jointed in the shoulders but not as much as he is. And my sister is double jointed in her elbows. anon91389 yesterday

    I'm double-jointed in both elbows and i can turn my arm all the way around and my thumb can almost touch my wrist. i didn't even know till i was 10 (I'm 14). it doesn't cause problems with everyday life. i think it's awesome that i can do that. anon91157 June 20, 2010

    my husband is double jointed. i think all these people need good moral support from their family and especially from their life partners. anon90686 June 17, 2010

    I've been double jointed for as long as i can remember. my the bottom of my thumb pops out that's the only place so far. I've also learned that it can run in a family so i tried it out and everyone except my mom can do it. anon88673 June 6, 2010

    I am double jointed in my elbows and it's cool to show people to kind of weird them out but I'm afraid that when I join cheer and I have to put out my arms straight people will make fun of me. Plus it does not look good when I stretch my arms in front of people.

    I'm also double jointed. My elbows are my main issue, though -- they go out farther than a normal elbow. being a gymnast, it's tough to prevent myself from over extending my double jointed elbow when i do stunts that require my hands. i feel like I'm going to snap my elbow sometime. I've been doing gymnastics for nine years, and thankfully i haven't broken anything yet! anon80898 April 29, 2010

    i'm just learning english but i have a question.

    i think i'm double jointed and i never hear of someone that can bend the chest inside itself like me. Also i have some problems carrying heavy stuff because if i don`t grasp it with enough strength my shoulders and hands dislocate. i can dislocate my femur by pressing one leg with the other and pulling myself up.

    my jaw also dislocates to any place.

    my fingers also dislocate when puling them out, but everything is painless.

    the only thing that worries me is the chest movement. If some one had any medical explanation or similar experience, please let me know. anon79850 April 25, 2010

    can't everyone move their knee caps around when your leg is straight out?

    and i used to be double-joined in the bottom knuckle of both thumbs and then one day, i'm not double-jointed in my right thumb and it hurts to try to bend it back even a little.

    P.S. My four year old son is double jointed in the bottom knuckle of his left thumb. anon79331 yesterday

    I have been reading up on this. The UK recognizes this as HMS and recommends pilates/yoga.

    I am double jointed in the hips and since I am getting older I am now having pain in them when I push myself on the elliptical trainer, I will have to go to pilates. I think it is good not to fool around with this as it seems to make things worse.

    All the best to all of you, get doing some exercise to strengthen. I have four young adults and they like mom to go spend time with them. I will have to get better so that I can. You can too. anon75871 April 8, 2010

    I've just found out that my 3 1/2 year old daughter is double jointed and we had missed some earlier indicators. 1. She bottom shuffled. Crawling doesn't feel safe on wobbly elbows! 2. We had episodes of 'pulled elbows' despite being gentle with her. Recurrent pulled elbows are not always a symptom of abuse! I wish the doctor in A&E had been aware of this because he made us feel awful! 3. Lack of upper body strength. 4. Complaining about walking anywhere.

    We have to get her strong now to make up for her weaknesses. There are even implications for handwriting! We also have to stop her sitting in her favorite way, which overextends her knees the wrong way and get her to sit cross legged.

    If you suspect your child might be the same, get referred to a physio asap as you may have to do extra work to rectify problems! anon75599 April 7, 2010

    I am 24 with double jointed hips and I cannot tell you the pain that this now causes me! I used to think it was a cool party trick to 'pop' them out of joint and freak people out - now i have constant pain in cold weather and sometimes they 'fall' out for no reason, often when I am walking down the stairs.

    Kids - don't push your body too much! try and keep the ligaments as tight as possible! anon75585 April 7, 2010

    I have double jointed shoulders, knees, and leg joints. It's always been a secret of mine because when i was a kid i would throw my arm over my head and walk around and people would look grossed out.

    but after working out and gaining some muscle i can better work with my joints without them over extending themselves or randomly coming out of place. I'm still double jointed btw!

    I do have one problem that hasn't been fixed: when I throw a punch with too much power I always throw it out of joint! anon75490 April 6, 2010

    I'm double jointed and i found out last year when i was 8-9 and all my friends got so creeped out. there are probably lots of other places where I'm double jointed. i hope i find out.

    Right now I'm double jointed on my hands on a place i can move my my knuckle of the the middle finger, and my right hand i can dislocate the bottom tip of my thumb.

    I'm going to sign up on wisegeek and if i find more body parts where I'm double jointed I'll post another note telling where i found out.

    Well i am also kind of young to find out and it's pretty insane and cool and fun to show my specialties and cool stuff that other people don't have. anon74032 March 30, 2010

    My flexible joints, like all of you, were fun when I was a kid, but in the last 10 years (since turning 40), I've had surgery for tendon problems in my right wrist, elbow, and knee (twice) left ankle and both feet-left foot twice. The elbow, knee and ankle problems were all caused by injury. I've also developed trigger finger in my right hand and have carpal tunnel. anon73430 March 27, 2010

    I am double jointed. I can extend my shoulder blades (very far out) so they look like wings. anon71486 March 18, 2010

    I am double jointed and it rocks. i am double jointed all over and i love testing people's reactions. anon70188 March 12, 2010

    because of this website i found more ways i was double jointed. anon69546 March 8, 2010

    I'm double jointed almost everywhere except my elbows. I first found out when I could twist one arm over my head. Then, I found out I could do both arms. Later I found I was double jointd in my hands, hips, knees, and etc. It's cool and I love to see people's reactions. anon69509 March 8, 2010

    I'm "double-jointed." i am 14 i have known it since i was eight. i can pop my thumb in and out of place and bend it back at a 90 degree angle. anon69315 March 7, 2010

    I'm double jointed in my shoulder only. i think i got it form my mom she is in her fingers.

    i found out about a year ago in sixth grade when i dislocated my shoulders and one of my friends screamed for the teacher to call the 911 because she thought i was seriously hurt but then i but them back in my sockets, put on a confused look, then asked why she was screaming.

    She told me that my shoulders should hurt from me dislocating them and i said i didn't feel anything, then the teacher said that i was double jointed. Since then, it's been fun messing with people but other times it's annoying when they just pop out randomly. anon67656 February 25, 2010

    I am double-jointed in my knees and elbows. I can bend my elbows till they almost touch. I can move my knee caps up and down. anon67407 February 24, 2010

    i am double jointed in my thumb. I am 11 and i just figured it out at 10. --ami anon66766 yesterday

    I am double jointed in my fingers, I can bend my fingers back at a 90 degree angle and they don't hurt. I didn't even know I was until my friend pointed it out and told me to stop doing it because I was freaking her out. anon66252 February 18, 2010

    i have always been double jointed ever since i was young. i can pop both of my shoulders, knees, and hands out of place. my friends think it's amazing to put me in a "chicken wing" and watch as i pop my shoulders out of place and release myself from it. i am 6 feet tall and weigh 110 pounds. is my flexibility a result of my lack of fat or because i am double jointed? anon66012 February 17, 2010

    i can dislocate my knees, my spine, my neck, my fingers, hips, wrists, jaw, thumbs -- everything.

    i can turn my thumb 360 degrees. anon64449 February 7, 2010

    i can "jump rope" with my arms, twist my arm completely around so that the elbow bends inward. i can do this thing where my arms are locked from behind and i lift and twist through them without letting go.

    I can also lie on my stomach and touch my feet to my head, i can sit and place both legs behind my head, i can even stand up with one leg behind my head.

    my hands are also double jointed and i can bend my thumb all the way back to touch my arm. i can also easily do a backbend, and place my whole fist in my mouth. also more. anon62747 January 28, 2010

    the top joint in my thumb can bend back and touch the rest of my thumb i can do this in both thumbs. it is completely painless.this is really creepy and i have been able to do it for as long as i can remember. i agree showing it off can be fun but can get boring after all your friends have seen it. do you think this is double jointedness? anon62677 January 28, 2010

    Is it even safe i can bend my thumb all the way backward. The left one has no pain but the right one has a little. my thumb can touch my arm when i bend it backward. My doctor told me to stop doing so i won't get arthritis. Is that true? anon61932 January 23, 2010

    i have a double jointed elbow. i also play baseball. my arm tends to lock out at the end of my throwing motion. this tends to cause pain. does being double jointed have something to do with this? and if so are there any solutions? anon61634 January 21, 2010

    It's cool to have people double jointed like me because I can bend the top part of my fingers at a 90 degree angle and I can bend my fingers back in a funny way, lol, and I can do other stuff too. But I wish I can discover other cool stuff though.

    So i am the same as annon42219, i can pop my shoulder blades out, can anyone tell me why? i always figured i was double jointed but not sure. anon61260 January 19, 2010

    I'm double jointed in both my elbows and knees and on top of that I'm pigeon toed. I've always felt like such an outcast because the combination of the three has made it difficult for me to do athletics correctly, however since reading these posts I'm feeling a lot better. anon61112 January 18, 2010

    I'm feeling reading comments to which i can relate to! I'm double jointed too, at both of my shoulders, thumbs and legs to some extent! I've always "used" this "skill" to fool around, especially for Halloween!:D

    It does not hurt for me but i reckon this will come with age, but till then, I'm enjoying it!

    Also on a lower note, i can open my jaw wide enough to fit my fist in it. Does anyone think that this might be double jointedness again?

    I am just double jointed in my hands (but pretty flexible overall too, just not double jointed anywhere else). I can bend my fingers backward so with my palms touching flat my fingers stretch back about five inches apart at the top of the V (or 2-3 inches above a table with palms flat, and pull individual fingers backward so they almost touch the back of my hand. My thumbs go backward 90 degrees on their own.

    I can also bend the middle joints backward and the top joint forward simultaneously. anon59080 January 6, 2010

    I am double jointed in every joint in my body. It was especially rough as a child. My father was lifting me up my my hands and both shoulders popped out of socket. Even today just walking can cause my hip or knees to pop out, but i have become good at popping them back in on my own. The most interesting thing I've found is my shoulders can rotate 360 degrees over and over. Therefore I can effectively lock my hands together and jump rope with my arms with no pain. I was looking for some possible other reasons for being double jointed.

    The only solutions I have been given is to work out and tighten the muscles surrounding the joints. anon58021 December 29, 2009

    I'm DJ. It's funny. I can bend my thumb and little fingers all the way back. the other fingers i can make the bones near the middle pop out when i bend them backward.

    i make my pinky go over my ring finger, and my ring finger go over my middle and my middle go over my pointer and my pointer go over my thumb. it's fun. :)

    i can make my left thumb go all the way backward and forwards. i can't do anything with my right hand though. I'm a righty so it's funny. anon55523 December 8, 2009

    I sort of feel normal after reading all these posts.

    Anyway my arms are double jointed and I play golf. It's quite hard, as the most important thing you have to do is keep your arm straight, which is impossible for me to do.

    My arms start twisting all sorts of ways when I swing. anon53779 November 24, 2009

    I can do a weird thing with my thumb. i'm in fifth grade and found it out today. I can push my thumbs to the back of my hand, and make a right angle with them. anon50833 November 1, 2009

    I have the same problem as anon 11047 and gremlin. I'm double jointed in my shoulders (I found out in third grade) and it never bothered me until I started marching band. All of the weird positions and body movements were easier for me because of my shoulders, but lately they've been hurting like crazy whenever I have practice or a competition. Also, carrying heavy items (even as much as a three-pound instrument) will pull them out of socket. I have no control over it anymore. anon49861 4 hours ago

    i can make my fingers and thumb go like all funny. and my fingers, the first tip of my finger goes bent while the rest is straight and in the middle then of the same fingers, when it's like that, it's a line in the middle

    and i can move my knee caps. am i double jointed? anon49551 October 21, 2009

    I too am double jointed. the only place that I am not is my toes,as I have had bunion surgery and in order for my toes not to grow back into place they had to snip my joints in my toes (yes it hurt) but my toes are going back now after three surgeries and the last one was three years ago. I am also a fast healer. does anyone else have that? for example, I can take my earrings out that I got some 25 years ago, and within three days without earrings my holes have closed. also as stated I'm double-jointed in my feet and I have a big problem with my feet itching in locations. foot cream, foot baths, salt and doctor's visits -- nothing works. anon49306 October 19, 2009

    I'm double jointed in my back, as well as other places and although my extra flexible motions cause me no pain, sometimes i get back pains from running too much. anon45097 September 13, 2009

    Yeah, i have a lot of the problems you guys have. Except i like to think of them as skills. you're right, it is very fun to show off to my friends, breaks the ice a bit. Whenever I get bored in class, I experiment to see what other creepy things i can do to amuse myself. anon44941 September 11, 2009

    i am double jointed in all of my fingers and the top part of them bend forward almost looking like a alien hand lol. but also since I'm double jointed my fingers don't point straight instead the middle one bends downwards.

    also i can twist my thumb sideways so that it's under my knuckle. it's not painful. i tend to crack my fingers a lot so they don't cramp up. anon43488 August 29, 2009

    From what I understand, everyone who has the double jointed thumbs are related as they all came from a single gene. I can also bend my thumbs back to my wrist and I can twist my fingers into some inhuman shapes. anon43015 August 25, 2009

    my thumb can bend backward 90 degrees and forwards 90 degrees. i can also kind of pop it and make a popping noise. the top part of my thumb can go forwards 90 degrees too. lol i know, extra-flexible thumb. when i sit and 'pull" the seat of the chair upwards, they pop too. anon42990 August 25, 2009

    We know that our daughter, three years old, is hypermobile since she was a crawler. She is very flexible and despite the fact that she has an arched foot, she has flat fleet. Her ankles drop inside and she therefore runs like a duck, poor little one. She runs and enjoys it, but with some style. She likes climbing but is always very careful and takes her time. She loves dancing and wants to do ballet. We are just not sure this would be the best for her she might be teased or in pain. She really loves it and is very graceful despite her flat feet. She doesn't mind being on her tippy toes a lot. So, is anyone practicing ballet with this condition? Thanks for helping. anon42605 yesterday

    Have you guys considered Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as a cause for your flexibility? It is a hypermobility disorder that occurs as a result of mutations in collagen genes. Some of the symptoms include hypermobility, stretchy soft skin, dislocating joints, and joint pain. I'm very flexible myself, and worry I might have this syndrome. anon42219 August 20, 2009

    I can pop out my shoulder blades. Maybe my knees hurt because of being double jointed? anon41948 August 18, 2009

    ooh, i belong. i can bend my fingers backward too, painlessly. i can even hang my legs on my shoulders. anon38040 4 hours ago

    I am double-jointed in my fingers, wrists, shoulders, knees, ankles, toes, jaw and my knuckles.

    I can pull my fingers out of place, painlessly.

    I can pull my thumb backward, touching the back of my wrist. I can also pull it the opposite way, forward. I can also pop my knuckles back and forth without touching them.

    I can also pop my wrists out of place, painlessly without touching them.

    I can pop my shoulder blades out of place, to where they pop. I can also pop my ankles out of place without touching them.

    I can also make my knee caps move around, when my leg is straight out and my leg muscles are relaxed.

    I can also pop my toes without touching them and I can do it while touching them as well.

    I bet you're wondering how I can pop my jaw. I can make my jaw make a popping sound. I use to could do it so loud, the entire room could hear it. Now, it's kind of muzzled. My orthodontist also noticed this, with my strange overbite and sidebite. Weird I know. He said, once I get braces on and my bite is corrected, I shoudn't have that problem anymore. But who knows.

    Most anything that's doublejointed I can pretty much do. I found out I could move my knee caps in 3rd. grade. In 2nd. grade I found out I could I could move my thumb in that weird position. In 4th. grade I could pop my jaw. When I was very little, I could pop my shoulder. I know I'm weird. But I find myself very unique:) anon37988 12 hours ago

    well i am only double jointed in my shoulders, i think, so if i were to be crawling on the floor my arms would be fully twisted in front of me totally facing the wrong direction. looks like i belong in a grudge movie. anon33331 June 4, 2009

    lol anon25029 i do that too. i can take my thumb and put it behind my middle finger knuckle and can take my thumb and reach it all the way to my pinky without bending it. it's fun to show off what you can do if you're double jointed. anon30262 April 16, 2009

    I have the same problem as anon11047.I believe I am double jointed in many places (I can body skip, do weird things with my arms, and bend both my thumbs inwards 180 degrees to lock them between my finger and thumb joint. no-one else can do that so far)

    As a body-skipped, I have noticed my shoulders are more prone to dislocation and I too get pains when putting full force into my arms with my shoulders. When I throw over-arm, I sometimes jolt my shoulder slightly out of joint or always just move it in such a way that really hurts, so I'm not much of a good thrower.

    I think my double jointedness has to do with my difficulty in putting power into my shoulder movements, but it doesn't concern me because most of my movements are in the fingers anyway (I use computers a lot) anon29030 March 26, 2009

    I used to be double jointed as a child. being able to bend my thumbs backward at will. Now that I'm an adult, whenever I apply the slightest pressure on them, my thumbs will literally bend back and *hurt*. It's like weak bone that never healed.

    I'm thinking of just loading up on calcium. dancingshona March 25, 2009

    I think its in my back, but I'm not sure.

    We found out today when I went to the children's hospital to find out about my surgery for scoliosis. It's really good being double jointed, especially in my back for ballet. :D gremlin March 10, 2009

    I'm double jointed in my shoulders. It can get annoying how when I help carry in the groceries my arms leave their sockets. My dad tells me that if i keep letting them pull out of their sockets then I will have arthritis when I'm older. So now I try to keep control over it, but sometimes it's hard. I think my knuckles are double jointed, but I'm not sure. Whenever I pull my fingers they seem to leave my hand, like. it forms a gap-thing. Are my knuckles double jointed? Will I get arthritis when I'm older? anon27080 February 23, 2009

    i'm double-jointed in my fingers, its really funny when people see me write because my fingers bend backward, i was wondering if being double-jointed has anything to do with why my knees and back hurt a lot, i'm only 15 so it seems kind of weird, could i be double jointed in my knees and is that why my legs hurt? anon25646 February 1, 2009

    As a female child I loved to sit in contorted positions. Later on I went to Ukrainian dances and performed the Kozak dance on my haunches. Others couldn't do it. When I became a professional dancer in Las Vegas i was the one selected to do the Can Can splits. I spent my whole life dancing and today I judge and coach top salsa dancers. My joints hurt. I have fibromyalgia but I still dance. The secret is. Don't stop moving. You freeze up. anon25029 yesterday

    i am double jointed ! and it is great i can do lots of stuff with my body that my friends can't do i am always the show off. anon22584 December 6, 2008

    I have many friends that are cheerleaders, gymnasts, dancers, etc. and only one of them has been able to duplicate my scorpion, or pulling my leg up backward so that my foot rests on my head. I have never been in any form of tumbling, gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading, and I don't know why I am so flexible. Another strange thing is that my twin sister is not flexible at all. In fact, our doctor told her she has tight hamstrings. Why is that? anon22531 December 5, 2008

    i am double jointed in my left hand on my ring finger. i go up to people && say "Can you do this??" and they look at me like "freak." it doesn't hurt, it just looks funny when i do it. i am in 8th grade intermediate guitar && when im trying to make a chord with my ring finger and index finger, my ringer finger keeps collapsing after a little while of pressure. it doesn't hurt either, it just feels weird. anon20817 November 7, 2008

    I have a double jointed thumb (i.e. the bottom part of my thumb, rather than top half) and recently started playing guitar. When i hold the neck of the guitar, it bends backward, and i have little control over that happening. After only a few weeks of playing, i started getting wrist pains (possibly repetitive strain injury), which hasn't happened to anyone else I know who has been playing for as short a time as i have. I suspect that it might be connected to my over-bendy thumb, and wondered if there was any way of building up the muscles around those joints to prevent it from bending as much, or at all? anon20437 October 30, 2008

    I am double jointed in 13 places so far. That includes my legs and arms. Sometimes I even think I can move 3 separate things in my legs. so that would be 19. I am always experimenting what I can and can't move. I'm always finding new movements. anon19037 October 4, 2008

    imm double jointed in my..hip, shoulders, thumbs, elbows, wrist, and knees I have never had pain i also have very flexible muscles i can put my legs behind my head and touch my thumb to my wrist i can make a complete twist with my wrist i can hold my hands together in the back and move it the the front without unconnecting my hands and a lot of other stuff. Kitkat10121 August 21, 2008

    I am double jointed in both elbows, knees, ankles, and thumbs. It doesn't hurt typically but I get stiffness and arthritis occasionally in my joints that can be tough to live with. It didn't give me any issues when I was younger but as I age, I worry about how much it will hurt me as I move toward my 40s and 50s. ScottML June 9, 2008

    I play tennis and I am double jointed in my right arm. I have a hard time hitting a correct forehand without pain. (I am a righty) My coach is always urging me to practice w. that new forehand but it hurts and I am wondering if it has anything to do w. double jointedness. anon11047 April 7, 2008

    well i am double jointed in my shoulders or so. and i used to play volleyball and it was really helpful cause my serves and smashes were way more powerful because of it. however i had to stop playing volleyball (and any other sport that involved me using my shoulders to give power to my arms) because after a while it started to feel like my arm would just go out of its socket every time i put my full force into it.

    so now i cannot play volleyball anymore and it even hurts like crazy when i try to throw something as hard/fast/far as i can. sure i can throw stuff (e.g. pitching a baseball) faster and farther than other people but it hurts like hell .. so i wish i wasn't double jointed like this :/ malena April 15, 2007

    I know being double jointed in the elbows is generally helpful in playing volleyball. Basically, by being able to bend your arms a bit further out you are able to create a gapless, flat platform on which to pass or bump a volleyball.

    Why do so many older people limp?

    This question, submitted by a reader, seems simple enough. By the age of 15 months, for example, most children have learned how to walk.

    But the mechanics of walking&mdashpurposely placing one foot in front of the other&mdashare too often taken for granted. Even young children limp. A 1985 study found that about four percent of children who visit hospital emergency departments report limping, an &ldquoasymmetric abnormality of the gait,&rdquo as their primary complaint.

    It seems that walking upright, a trait that defines modern humans, is surprisingly complex. It requires continuous cooperation and information sharing between the nervous, musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems. Here&rsquos how two Austrian neurologists describe, in simple mechanical terms, what it means to walk. (Do not try this without supervision.)

    &ldquoTo start walking, one leg is raised and directed forward by flexing the hips and knee. Activation of the supporting contralateral leg and trunk muscles moves the body&rsquos center of gravity over the weight-bearing leg and forward. The heel of the swinging leg is then placed on the ground. The body weight is gradually shifted to the sole and then onwards to the toes. During mid-stance, the opposite leg is lifted and moves forward until the heel strikes the ground. Meanwhile, the body is held upright, the shoulders and pelvis remain relatively level and each arm swings in the direction opposite to that of its ipsilateral leg.&rdquo

    &ldquoSafe walking,&rdquo they add, &ldquorequires intact cognition and executive control.&rdquo

    Anything that complicated is likely to spawn flaws, such as limping, over the course of a lifetime. Once people reach their 60s, that limping rate has more than doubled. An estimated 10 percent or more of people that age walk with a noticeable limp.

    In their late 60s and 70s, walkers tend to lose speed, slowing their pace by about one to two percent per year. Gait velocity, further slowed by limping, seems to be a powerful predictor of mortality. By the time people reach their 80s and 90s, sixty percent of them exhibit some sort of chronic limp.

    So we spoke with Douglas Dirschl, MD, the Lowell T. Coggeshall Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Chicago, to get a better understanding of why so many older people walk with a limp.

    The published data on limping seems somewhat vague. How common are gait abnormalities?

    Dirschl: We don&rsquot really know. Just from teaching orthopedics for as long as I have, and being a keen observer when I&rsquom out in public, I would estimate 15 to 20 percent of people have something in their gait you can pick up, such as pain, or weakness on one side, or a leg-length discrepancy.

    Keep in mind, Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, the fastest human on earth and recipient of eight gold medals, has a slight leg-length discrepancy.

    Why is limping so common, especially in the elderly?

    Dirschl: There are four basic reasons why people develop a limp. Something is painful, stiff or weak&mdashor one leg is substantially different. That last option is responsible for only a small percentage of limps, so I will focus on the first three. Any one of these, or any combination, could cause someone to limp.

    Let&rsquos begin with pain. In younger people the primary cause is physical trauma, such as sports injuries or motor vehicle accidents. The most common cause of pain in older people, however, is arthritis, which causes pain as well as stiffness. If someone already has a limp, inflammation makes it even more pronounced.

    Pain can affect any of the limping-related joints: hip, knee, ankle or foot. Discomfort in any of those locations is common and is likely to be experienced by more and more people as they age. Each specific location causes a slightly different kind of limp.

    Diagnosing the cause of a limp is based on history, physical exam findings, laboratory tests, and radiological examination. If a limp is associated with pain it should be urgently investigated.

    How about stiffness?

    Dirschl: Stiffness can result in slightly different gaits. Someone who has a stiff lumbar spine&mdashmeaning nearly fused&mdashwill walk with a certain type of gait. Anyone with a stiff hip or knee or ankle or foot, will also walk with a fairly joint-specific limp. An injury or surgical procedure could lead to stiffness or fusion of a joint. That could lead to a limp. Each is subtly different, but an expert could tell the difference.

    How can you tell?

    Dirschl: People in this field see a lot of walking problems. Each painful joint presents a somewhat different limp. People find different ways to limit the discomfort. We have specific names for many of them. A coxalgic gait, for example, is a particular response to hip pain.

    When you see someone walking normally, there should be a natural, balanced rhythm to their gait. For analysis, we tend to break that rhythm up into smaller segments, focusing on how each leg moves through each stage of the cycle and how it adapts to the pain of weight bearing or the limitations caused by stiffness.

    How do you measure that?

    Walking involves two phases: the stance phase, where the foot on that leg is in contact with the ground and the swing phase, where the foot is raised and not in contact with the ground. People with a painful limp will shorten the stance phase on the side that hurts. They want to minimize the discomfort caused by weight-bearing.

    Is there an obvious difference in how people respond to pain and stiffness?

    In people with a stiff limp, you have to look a little more carefully to see which joints aren&rsquot moving in the normal pattern. Take knee stiffness, which is probably the easiest to spot. Imagine someone who suffers from extreme knee stiffness, where the knee is kept, or may even be stuck, in a single position. If you watch this person go through the gait cycle you can see that the knee simply doesn&rsquot move.

    Normally, the knee would extend, just before the foot strikes the ground. It would be relatively straight throughout the stand phase and then, as you get to the swing phase, that knee would flex when the foot comes off the ground to make room for the leg to pass over it again. We can watch all that in a gait cycle and see if it does or doesn&rsquot occur.

    A stiff hip is a little harder to notice because the hip&mdashunlike the leg&mdashmay rely more on rotation of the pelvis. One way to get your leg out in front of you is to rotate your pelvis around your spine.

    Knees, hips, what about ankles?

    A gait with a very stiff ankle is also easy to spot. Most patients will externally rotate that foot, or the whole leg, so that the foot swings wide and points out to one side. That way they can roll over the inside of the foot rather than have to bend the ankle.

    In this situation, the ankle can&rsquot move the way it needs to go during the stance phase as your body progresses from behind your foot, which has hit the ground, to in front of the foot.

    Instead, they move like someone who&rsquos in a cast or a heavy boot. Those don&rsquot allow the ankle to move, so people walk with their foot turned out. It&rsquos just easier.

    How about weakness? That must be common in the elderly.

    Yes, the third cause of limping in the elderly is muscle weakness. Once again, this can be subtle and offers multiple versions, often combined with pain.

    One common example is someone who has hip pain caused by inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, the bursa, on the side of the hip. This is accompanied with weakness in the gluteus medius muscle.

    This can cause what we call the Trendelenberg lurch, named after the German surgeon Friedrich Trendelenburg. Because that muscle is weak on one side, it isn&rsquot strong enough to hold the pelvis level. So the pelvis will dip when the patient tries to stand on the weaker leg.

    We also see elderly patients with significant overall deconditioning, a loss of muscle strength, often combined with late-stage diabetes. They may be weak in a lot of areas: from the hips to the ankles. Those all result in a characteristic limp.

    Is there a nervous system component as well?

    There is indeed. Nerve damage, such as peripheral neuropathy, balance problems and loss of coordination can disrupt a normal gait. Damage to the perineal nerve can prevent them from pulling the front of the foot up. Those people have an unusual limp, characterized by lifting the leg higher in the air than normal.

    We call that a neuropathic, or steppage, gait. This was first described in people with secondary syphilis. That&rsquos why syphilis, back in Victorian times, was called &ldquothe clap.&rdquo Your foot would clap against the ground as you walked with this odd gait. It became a generic term for any venereal disease.

    So much can go wrong. How can you fix these problems?

    The best thing is to prevent them, primarily through strength and balance training. If you can&rsquot stand on one foot for at least five to ten seconds, make an appointment.

    We also have many ways to reduce pain, especially the wear and tear of arthritis. Non-painful limps can be investigated and treated more gradually.

    Modest stiffness can improve with stretching, physical therapy and manipulation. If it&rsquos rigid stiffness, that might require surgical intervention. Physical therapy and weight training exercises also can help with moderate weakness.

    Weakness from a neurological injury, on the other hand, is not something we can correct with exercise. Instead, we would consider ankle braces or a custom-designed shoe that could support the foot in a functional position. It could cause the ankle to be stiff, but we prefer stiffness over weakness.

    How big of an industry is this?

    That&rsquos hard to say. It&rsquos all interwoven with a variety of other industries: musculoskeletal care, physical therapy, durable medical equipment such as braces, bandages and boots, canes and crutches, heating pads and pain patches&mdashall sorts of little things that might help you walk.

    Are there new ways to approach limping?

    There&rsquos a lot of new technology in orthopedics. We have new and better joint replacements and we can now perform the operations using the surgical robot, which has much smaller incisions. This can reduce discomfort and speed recovery.

    We have a vast array of new hip and knee replacements. We can replace just one side of the knee, as well as the standard total knee replacements. We have done almost 500 of those. We have the largest center and the only training center in the Midwest.

    More recently, we have brought robotic assistance to spine surgery, a significant addition to our robust spine program. Instead of making a long incision along the spine and spreading the spinal muscles aside to see and reach it, the robot lets us work through little incisions and tubes at each level of the spine. That means no big incision, just a series of small incisions and entry through tubes.

    Douglas Dirschl, MD

    Douglas R. Dirschl, MD, is a highly accomplished surgeon and an expert in orthopaedics. He specializes in caring for patients with musculoskeletal trauma and fractures, as well as other injuries and diseases of the bones, joints and muscles.

    Orthopaedic Surgery

    When injury or illness affects the musculoskeletal system, the experienced and skilled orthopaedic team at the University of Chicago Medicine offers the full spectrum of nonsurgical and surgical care.

    John Easton

    John Easton is a senior science writer at UChicago Medicine.

    Designing the Best Pilates Conditioning Program

    Pilates exercises work to create muscle balance, flexibility, core alignment and proper spinal mechanics in both amateur and professional golfers. When muscle balance and core alignment are optimal, good motor programming results. Over time, golf swing faults can be corrected by better body mechanics, which also reduce the chance of injury.

    Pilates mat exercises can be used to stretch, strengthen and rotate the golfer&rsquos body. Pilates conditioning creates core alignment and functional strength so that the entire body is integrated when movements are performed. Pilates movements performed correctly and with precision will create new physical patterns for golfers. Certain types of Pilates equipment, such as the fitness ring, or magic circle, can also be included in a program for golfers. The ring can be an especially effective way to add resistance to a workout, act as a stabilizer for the joints and create closed-chain exercises, which produce more functional movements for the body. For a look at specific Pilates exercises and uses, see &ldquoPilates Corrective Exercises for Golfers&rdquo on page 59.

    The practice of Pilates builds a flow of motion that lends ease and power to the golf game. Pilates, like golf, brings conscious control and focus to all movements. Only through this kind of centering can great benefits be achieved&mdashboth on the golf course and in the activities of daily living.

    corrective exercise core twist with hip rotation

    This increases torso&rsquos rotary motion. Use fitness ring, but keep it level and on same plane throughout movement, in order to stabilize angle
    of spine in rotation. Reverse movement may be awkward
    at first but will increase body awareness and improve balance both on and off
    golf course.

    Stand with feet hip distance apart. Hold fitness ring
    horizontally, and place it at center of chest, at bottom of
    rib cage. Press shoulder blades down, and lift elbows
    until level with ring.

    step 1: Inhale, and rotate torso to target side.

    step 2: Exhale, and swing torso around to nontarget side, keeping ring parallel to floor and shoulders level.

    Now, start exercise on nontarget side of body, rotating to target side, and repeat 10 times.

    To increase upper-body rotation, work with full range
    of motion, emphasizing starting point of rotation on
    target side.

    corrective exercise prone hamstring lifts, curls and extensions

    Strengthening hamstrings, buttocks and hip adductors will help maintain proper body positioning at moment of impact.

    Lying prone on floor, bend knees and place ring between ankles. Place hands on floor, palms down, and relax head on hands. Pull navel to spine, and press hips to floor. (Spine should be elongated, not arched.) Keep knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and maintain enough resistance on ring to hold it horizontally to floor.

    step 1: Inhale as you lift legs up from floor.

    step 2: Exhale, and squeeze ring.

    step 3: Inhale, and release squeeze.

    step 4: Exhale, and lower legs.

    step 1: Inhale as you lift legs up from floor.

    step 2: Exhale, squeeze ring and curl heels toward buttocks.

    step 3: Inhale, and uncurl back to 90-degree position.

    step 1: Inhale as you lift legs up from floor and squeeze ring.

    step 2: Exhale, and extend legs (straightening them behind you)
    a few inches above floor.

    step 3: Inhale, and curl back to 90-degree position.

    step 4: Exhale, and lower legs to floor.

    segment 1: Perform 10 repetitions.

    segment 2: Perform 5 repetitions, then release legs down and perform
    a second set.

    segment 3: Perform 5 repetitions.

    Ensure that pelvis remains neutral and does not rotate as you lift hip bones
    from floor. Be sure to maintain active core muscle alignment through each of
    the exercises.

    Special thanks to Cecile LeMoine Bankston, who modeled expertly for these photographs and to Gina Axelson, who so generously hosted our photo shoot at her beautiful new studio&mdashBella Forma Pilates&mdashin Carlsbad, California.

    Sidebar photographs by Jim Coit.

    corrective exercise bow and arrow

    Stabilizing shoulder joint and working muscles through shoulder girdle both concentrically and eccentrically create awareness of how to strengthen the kinetic chain and work through center of joint to
    maintain crucial joint alignment.

    Stand with feet hip distance apart. Hold fitness ring vertically at chest level.
    Press shoulder blades down, and lift elbows to chest level. Turn torso and head toward nontarget side.

    step 1: Inhale, and stabilize shoulder girdle. Exhale, and pull ring toward target side, hinging from shoulder keep elbow and wrist on same plane.

    step 2: Inhale, and press ring to nontarget side.

    Repeat 10 times before starting exercise on target side.

    Pay close attention to positioning of elbow and wrist. Watch for any break in the kinetic chain. This exercise, when executed properly, will also strengthen
    forearms and help reduce wrist and elbow injury.

    corrective exercise twist with arm pulls and saw

    This rotational stretch works core muscles for improved flexibility and core strength.

    Sit on mat with legs extended in front of you. Open legs to V position, slightly wider than hips.

    segment 1: twist with arm pulls

    step 1: Inhale, and lift arms out to sides of body at shoulder level.

    step 2: Exhale as you flex feet and twist torso to target side. Keep both hips anchored to floor, and arms straight at shoulder level.

    step 3: Press arms back with 10 small presses, inhaling and exhaling with each press.

    step 4: Twist torso into center position with full breath.

    step 1: Inhale as you lift arms out to sides of body at shoulder level.

    step 2: Exhale, flex feet and twist torso to target side. Keep both hips anchored to floor, and arms straight at shoulder level. Inhale, and lift nontarget arm toward ceiling. Round your back, exhale, and stretch arm across body, reaching arm past opposite foot. Keep both hips anchored to mat. Bring target arm behind body.

    step 3: Stretch forward, sliding nontarget hand past foot in &ldquosawing&rdquo motion.
    Perform 10 &ldquosawing&rdquo movements. Inhale and exhale with each movement.

    step 4: Round back to sit up, and lift arms out at shoulder level. Twist to center position. Repeat exercise on other side.

    segment 1: Repeat exercise 2 times.

    Ensure that clients keep both hips pressed to mat, and abdominal muscles pulled inward and upward. Make sure head follows line of spine. If clients have difficulty sitting tall with legs straight, have them bend one leg, then stretch over straight leg and gradually straighten bent knee to increase stretch into hamstrings.

    corrective exercise standing hip balance control

    reverse spine angle, or dipping

    This exercise teaches the relationship between balance and
    counterbalance. The different segments of the exercise increase hip stability and improve core alignment
    and fitness.

    Stand with feet hip distance apart. Hold top of fitness ring in both hands. Round torso, keeping hips directly over heels, and place bottom of ring on floor, with ring in vertical
    position. Torso alignment places hips, knees and ankles in vertical plumb line. Pull shoulders away from ears, keeping head in line with spine, and gaze toward legs.

    step 1: Inhale, and press circle down without swaying hips or leaning back.

    step 2: Exhale pull navel to spine, and round torso upward to release press on ring.
    Use core muscles and stabilize hip position. Activate full length of rectus
    abdominis to maintain body design do not allow back to flatten.

    step 1: Maintaining core alignment, lift both heels up and balance on balls of feet.

    step 2: Inhale, and lower target heel to floor.

    step 3: Exhale, and lift heel, rolling to ball of foot.

    step 4: Inhale, and lower nontarget heel to floor.

    step 5: Exhale, and lift heel, rolling to ball of foot (both heels are now lifted).

    Repeat each segment 10 times.

    During segment 1, you will be correcting body from swaying front and back. Movement must be performed with no angle movement from hip to knee to ankle. During segment 2, you will be stabilizing hip sway from side to side. Heel must lower directly under hip, with no release or shift into opposing hip.

    corrective exercise finger flicks

    This simple movement improves
    circulation in arms and hands, while also strengthening forearm muscles.

    Stand with feet hip distance apart. Bring hands in front of body, and make loose fists by rolling up fingers with thumb
    on top.

    step 1: Strongly flick fingers open as if trying to remove something sticky. Movement should be so strong that you can hear a sound as you flick fingers apart. Perform 10 flicks.

    step 2: Continue flicking as you bring arms up in front of body to chest level. Perform another 10 flicks.

    step 3: Continue flicking as you bring arms above head. Perform another 10 flicks.

    step 4: Continue flicking as you lower arms out to sides of body at shoulder level. Perform another 10 flicks.

    step 5: Continue flicking as you lower arms in front of body to starting position. Perform another 10 flicks.

    Perform 1 set. As you progress, do 1 set, then reverse pattern and repeat.

    Make sure clients keep wrists straight and stable so movement passes through center of wrist. Elbow should remain soft, not locked or overly bent. Breathing pattern matches movement: inhaling for 2 flicks and exhaling for 2 flicks.

    This project is based on a 2007 California State Science Fair project by Annie Lefley (Lefley, 2007). Annie is a ballet dancer, and she noticed that grand pliés (in which the knee is almost fully bent) put more strain on her knees than demi pliés (where the knee is only partially bent). Although ballet is much more graceful, you can think of it as the difference between a deep-knee bend and a half-knee bend.

    Annie wanted to find out how much the strain on the knee changed as the angle of the knee became more acute. To find out, she built a cool mechanical model of the knee joint (see Figure 2, below). In order to understand the model, you should study up on the anatomy of the human leg and knee joint.

    Figure 1 shows two views of the knee joint from the 1918 edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body. On the top is the view of the joint from the front, and on the bottom is a sagittal section (cut-away view, showing the knee at mid-section). The knee is the joint where the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) come together. The patella (knee cap) "floats" in front of the joint. It is held in place by tendons (which connect the ends of muscles to bones) and ligaments (which connect bones to one another). For the purposes of this experiment, the two main attachments for the patella are:

    1. The quadriceps tendon (on the top), which connects to the main thigh muscle
    2. The patellar ligament (on the bottom), which connects to the tibia

    A diagram of a human knee shows a labeled cross-section with a view from the side of the knee joint. A layer of adipose tissue and bursa line the femur which rests above the tibia. The patella rests on the femur and is connected to the tibia with an infra patellar pad of fat that is surrounded by the medial meniscus, ligamentum patella and bursa. The medial meniscus continues to the opposite side of the femur where there is an oblique popliteal ligament.

    Figure 1. Two illustrations of the human knee joint. On the top is an anterior (front) view. On the bottom is a sagittal (vertical) section through the middle of the knee

    When you bend your knee to squat down (the ballet dancers out there among you can perform a plié, the rest of us can stick to what we know!), you can feel the tension increase in your quadriceps muscle (on the front of your thigh). The quadriceps tendon attaches to the patella, which is in turn anchored to the tibia by the patellar ligament. The tension of the quadriceps muscle holds the femur in position as the knee is bent.

    In the mechanical model, a spring is used to represent the quadriceps muscle. A spring has an interesting property discovered by the physicist Robert Hooke, and now named for him (Hooke's Law). Here is the property: the restoring force (F) produced by the spring is proportional to the distance by which the spring has been lengthened (x). In equation form, this looks like:

    The equation says that the force (F) of the spring is equal to the spring constant (k, a measure of the stiffness of the spring) times the distance (x) that the spring has been stretched. The minus sign says that the force is exerted in the opposite direction of the stretching. In other words, if you stretch the spring out, the spring force is pulling back in the other direction. You'll see how you will be using Hooke's Law in just a minute, after we've described how the model of the knee works.

    In Annie's model (see Figure 1) the femur, tibia and foot are represented by pieces of wood. The joints between the bones are hinges. The quadriceps muscle is represented by a spring. The patella is represented by a strip of metal, and the quadriceps tendon is represented by nylon guitar string. As the angle of the knee joint is changed, the guitar tuning mechanism is used to adjust the tension on the "quadriceps" spring. When the tension is at equilibrium, the joint will maintain its position. If the tension is too low, the joint angle will increase (knee unbends). If the tension is too high, the joint angle will decrease (knee bends more).

    Note: you may have noticed that the "patella" in Annie's model is not "floating" like the real one, and the real leg has more muscles than just the quadriceps. However, the point of a model is to simplify the problem and to capture its essentials.

    Figure 2. Mechanical model of the knee joint constructed for this project. The model has two main parts. The first part is the supporting frame, which consists of a horizontal base and vertical supports. The second part is the model knee, which consists of three separate pieces of wood (representing the femur, tibia/fibula, and foot). The pieces are hinged together and attached to the frame via another block of wood (representing the hip) which can travel up and down along the vertical support. A single spring represents the quadriceps muscle, and the quadriceps tendon is represented by a nylon guitar string. The guitar string is attached to the spring at one end and to a guitar tuning mechanism at the other. The tuning mechanism is used to adjust the tension on the spring. (Lefley, 2007)

    So how does Hooke's Law comes in to this? You can use your knowledge Hooke's Law to measure the relative force in the "quadriceps" spring as the angle of the knee is changed. First you measure the length of the spring at rest. Then, you set the angle of the knee, and use the guitar tuning mechanism to adjust the tension on the spring until you reach equilibrium (the joint is not moving one way or the other). Measure the new length of the spring. The difference between the spring's length under tension and its length at rest is the x from Hooke's Law. It is important to note from Hooke's law that force is directly proportional to displacement. So, you can still see the relative changes in force (i.e. which knee angles cause higher or lower forces) without even knowing the spring's k value. If you would actually like to calculate force instead of just measuring displacement, you will need to look up how to measure your spring's k value. Refer to the Science Buddies project Applying Hooke's Law: Make Your Own Spring Scale to learn more about that process.

    Watch the video: To καλύτερο φυσικό ρόφημα για να δυναμώσετε τα γόνατα, τους χόνδρους και τις αρθρώσεις (October 2022).