Hypermobility, once referred to as “double jointedness,” is more than just being very flexible in your joints and muscles. Hypermobility can affect all types of connective tissue in the body including the internal organs, eyes and skin.
The stability in our joints is determined by the elasticity in the ligaments, the muscular control of the joint and the shape and structure of the joint. People who are hypermobile have more elasticity in their ligaments due to a result of a higher proportion of elastin to collagen in their ligaments. As a result, their joints are able to move more.
Being hypermobile is not necessarily a problem in itself, and is not necessarily a diagnosis either. With regards the skeletal system, the problem can be thought of as the muscles needing to work more to control the joint in its normal movement; the more movement, the more control is needed. People who are hypermobile are often more vulnerable to joint dysfunction and subsequently, pain.
Hypermobility has always existed, but has only more recently become more recognised. Hypermobility problems can sometimes occur as part of a greater syndrome which can sometimes have potentially quite serious consequences. Some hypermobility related syndromes include Marfan Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.