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Old 01-05-2006, 04:02 PM
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From the Stupid Files: Do your fingers bend backwards?

This really does rank high on the scale of stupidity, so high that I can't actually muster up the nerve to ask people in person, so I turn to the nameless, faceless masses to ask...

Do your fingers bend backwards? If I lay my hand flat on my desk, for instance, I can lift my palm upwards until only my fingers are still (flat) on the desk. I would say they bend to very nearly 90 degrees. Or, if I press against my fingers with my other hand, they easily bend backwards to the same degree. Without outside assistance (from desk tops or other hands, etc) they will bend to maybe 35 degrees.

What I didn't know was that this might not be "normal". My husband demonstrated that his fingers wouldn't bend backwards by more than maybe 2 degrees - very, very slightly. He says I'm double jointed, and says that the fact that I can "lock" the bones in my fingers (to the point that I can flex only the very top section of them if I want) is also unusual.

And here I thought I was somewhat normal.

Go ahead, laugh, jeer, snark away. I guess secretly I'm hoping everyone will say "Of course we can!" and I can laugh at my husband
Old 01-05-2006, 04:09 PM
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Mine do, maybe half the distance yours do. I can't lock my fingers and wiggle just the tips, though. I'm pretty sure that double-jointed refers to something else entirely.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:12 PM
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Yeah it doesn't really jibe with my concept of double-jointed either, but m-w.com says:

Quote:
having a joint that permits an exceptional degree of freedom of motion of the parts joined
so maybe it applies?
Old 01-05-2006, 04:18 PM
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Well, can you bend over backwards and touch your hands on the floor? Are you a contortionist who can scrunch yourself up like a pretzel? Can you wrap your legs behind your head? Those would suggest double-jointedness to me. But maybe I'm wrong.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:21 PM
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Nope, definitely can't do that.

Maybe it's better to say my fingers are double-jointed, rather than to imply that I, as a whole, am double jointed.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:21 PM
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With assistance, I can bend my fingers back 90 degrees. Without assistance, they'll go about 45. I can also wiggle just the tips, but only with my middle and ring fingers.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:30 PM
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I can do the thing with my fingers and palm and desktop too. I can also bend my fingers back from the first knuckle to about 90 degrees.

I can also put my left arm behind my back and raise it until I can touch the back of my neck.

Just more flexible than average, I guess. Still, my wife doesn't like to see any of it. "People shouldn't be able to do that. It's just not right!"
Old 01-05-2006, 04:34 PM
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As I happen to have a protractor handy...

Without help from the my other hand or pressing it against something, I can bend my forefinger back 60. With outside help, I can to 95, but beyond 90 begins to hurt. Both my right and left hands seem to be the same as far as bendability.

As for the thumb, it greatly depends on how you're measuring it, but with the protractor's flat base on my fingers and my thumb moving backward to my wrist, I can go to 130 unaided and 170 pushing it.

I can't move just the tips of my fingers, though. I can move the first two sections independent of the base one, but that's all.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:43 PM
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I can bend my fingers back almost 90 degrees, and some of my top fingertip joints will do that too. That's by pushing on them; on their own, they'll go about 40 degrees.

I can't lock my fingers and move the tips anymore, but I could once, I think.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:45 PM
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With fingers resting on something, I can easily go back to ninety degrees. Heck, I used to be able to bend my pointer fingers back so that the tip would touch the back of my hand.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:48 PM
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On my own, I can bend my fingers back about 45 degrees, maybe a little bit more. With assistance, they go just a hair past ninety. And I can do the move-only-the-tips things. The rest of my body is nearly as flexible (though, since I'm overweight, not nearly as dramatic-looking). My husband is amused--and I don't get why he can't scratch his own back.
Old 01-05-2006, 04:50 PM
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Oh--regarding the degrees? I have no idea if the 45 degree thing is right. I don't have a protractor, and am notoriously bad at eyeballing these things.
Old 01-05-2006, 05:51 PM
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I can get them back about 30 degrees. This is the only way I know of cracking my knuckles - I interlink my hands and pull back until they crack.
Old 01-05-2006, 05:52 PM
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Hmm... Thinking about it, I suppose I'm not cracking my knuckles. I'm cracking the joints connecting my fingers to my hand. Is there a word for that?
Old 01-05-2006, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirty-Nine
Hmm... Thinking about it, I suppose I'm not cracking my knuckles. I'm cracking the joints connecting my fingers to my hand. Is there a word for that?
Aren't those also knuckles?
Old 01-05-2006, 06:00 PM
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I can go back about 30 degrees on my own, 90 degrees if I use my other hand. But I can turn my thumb on its first joint about 60 degrees and tuck it behind my index finger knuckle. It looks really weird. All my fingers can be rotated on their middle joint about 40 degrees, which apparently is odd.

But I have hypermobile joints-- most of my joints rotate or extend more than is normal. This is what is commonly referred to as double-jointed, and it's not really all that great-- sometimes my hips will dislocate slightly under incovenient circumstances...they go back in if I re-configure. Yuck. Keep yer joints tight, I always say.
Old 01-05-2006, 06:39 PM
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I can do just about 120 degrees on all my fingers. People seem to think it makes me a freak.
Old 01-05-2006, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draelin
With assistance, I can bend my fingers back 90 degrees. Without assistance, they'll go about 45.
Ditto, but while I can lock the last joint on my fingers, I cannot wiggle them. However, I can put my palms flat together and make my fingers wiggle like they're doing the snake.
Old 01-05-2006, 07:56 PM
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My fingers bend backwards as far as the OP's too. I can also lock my finger joints and flex only the tips of them, except for my pinky tips. (I remember my pinkys used to be able to do that, but not anymore.) Can you make your pinky and thumb form a near straight line going out from your hand, (when veiwed from above) with your other fingers pointing downwards/back along your arm? You should be able to put the knuckles of your other fingers on a surface, and draw a straight line from thumbtip to pinky tip. Your pinky and thumb are "rightside up" the other fingers "upside down". When I do it, I flex my wrist and sort of lock them into place. Can you place a fingertip on your thumb and bend it so it looks something like this? /\_ (The flat part is the fingertip, the "v" is the other two joints.)
__________________
Balance...
Old 01-05-2006, 08:16 PM
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I can manage about 45 degrees backwards, with or without assistance, it makes no difference. I can also do the lock fingers and flex the tips thing.

I had no idea that was even unusual for most of my life, until I started flexing my fingers ( I was bored ) next to my brother and he commented on how that creeped him out.
Old 01-05-2006, 08:23 PM
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I can bend my fingers as described, as well as my fingertips. I can bed my arms backward, though not quite as far. However, it freaks people the hell out when I do it, since it appears as though I have broken arms, or, as one person described it, "A Barbie doll with her arms on backwards."

I can touch the floor with my hands by bending backwards. But I don't make a habit of it.
Old 01-05-2006, 08:42 PM
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Mine do bend, but only to a 45 degree angle at most.
Old 08-27-2012, 02:01 PM
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this is kind of wierd but i can bend my pointer finger so far that it can touch the back of my hand without breaking it.
Old 08-27-2012, 02:33 PM
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I know a surgeon whose hands are so flexible that it's almost unsettling to watch him reach out to shake hands with someone. His whole hand just curls backwards, and he's got huge hands.
Old 08-27-2012, 03:08 PM
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Some people's joints are just more flexible than others. I am more like your husband, OP, in that I am not very flexible at all. You know the "namaste" hand thing? I can't bring my elbows up. I look more like a Christian praying than anything. As far as bending my fingers backward, even with using a desk or something for assistance, I am lucky to get 15 degrees of bend.
Old 08-27-2012, 03:14 PM
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I can do all the things listed above. I am definitely double-jointed in my hands.

Also in my feet but I will leave that to your imagination...
Old 08-27-2012, 03:28 PM
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I've always had more bendy fingers than anyone else. When I was much younger I could bend my thumbs down to touch my wrist forwards and backwards, but I have lost the flexibility to do that now. My fingers still bend and I can get a couple of inches between the tips without pushing them and more with a bit of pressure. My knees hyperextend, too.
Old 08-27-2012, 05:49 PM
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I have double jointedness/hyper flexibility in a bunch of joints, though they get a bit less so the older I get (though I can tell that some of it is more because I don't do it as much, and if I wanted to, I could get the muscles, tendons and ligaments warmed up again).

It's fun to gross people out! I can:
  • bend my fingers backwards like others.
  • "lock" my fingers so the tip is bent ~45° while the rest is super straight. You can see the two tendons pop out on top of the middle knuckle, which is really what grosses people out. I can even put a penny there and the tendons will hold it in place even upside down.
  • Cross my middle finger over the index, ring finger over middle and pinkie over ring (though I have to place the fingers with the other hand).
  • My thumbs can be bent backwards onto the back of the hand and stay there (I can't find any pics on google! Maybe I should take one).
  • Thumbs can also be bent to touch the forearm.
  • If I hold my arms straightat, then cross them at the wrist before folding my hands together, I can rotate my folded-hands under towards my body and keep going (rotating just under 360°) until my arms are straightened again.
  • My elbows and knees hyperextend. The elbows do so much that if I "straighten" both arms above my head, it forms a Y shape instead of two ||
  • Both my shoulders and my hips can dislocate on command (or otherwise, heh heh).
  • Oh, and the two toes next to the big toe (on each foot) can bend backwards at the top joint, too.

The dislocating shoulder bit is THE BEST to gross people out! They put their hand (lightly, no pushing down) onto the shoulder joint and I can either have it pop out by rotating a bent arm in the air or by putting my hand on a table and rotating that way. The face people make when they feel the arm suddenly pop/slide out (and back in) is x 1000.
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