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 :wink:

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.

Yeah it doesn’t really jibe with my concept of double-jointed either, but says:

so maybe it applies?

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.

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.

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.

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!”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

I can do just about 120 degrees on all my fingers. People seem to think it makes me a freak.

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.

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.)

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.