Are YOU double-jointed? Study says you’re 30% more likely to get long Covid

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • Double-jointed people were also more likely to be suffering constant fatigue
  • Long Covid has also been associated irritable bowel syndrome and migraines
  • READ MORE: Men and women DO suffer different Covid symptoms

Can you bend your fingers backwards nearly 90 degrees? You may be at a greater risk of long Covid.

That’s according to a fascinating study in the UK that indicates people who are double-jointed are at a 30 percent increased risk of persistent Covid symptoms.

Researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School are unsure exactly why the link exists – but people with flexible joints are generally prone to symptoms associated with long Covid, such as fatigue and achy bones.

Lead author Dr Jessica Eccles, Reader in Brain-Body Medicine at BSMS said: ‘Our study shows, for the first time, that the presence of generalized joint hypermobility (double-jointedness) is a risk factor for long Covid, and that those with hypermobility are likely to have even greater levels of fatigue.’

Can you bend your fingers backwards nearly 90 degrees? Or how about touch your head with your toes? You may be at risk of long Covid if so…

Seven percent of Americans have reported having ever experienced long-Covid, which equates to around 18million people

Seven percent of Americans have reported having ever experienced long-Covid, which equates to around 18million people

People who are double-jointed, or hypermobile, are thought to be prone to wider health issues because their muscles are under constant strain and work overtime to compensate the lack of stability, which leads muscles to get tired quicker.

Hypermobility is thought to affect around three percent of the population worldwide.

Other than older age, long Covid has been associated with underlying health conditions, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, allergies, anxiety, depression and back pain.

All of these risk factors have been independently linked with joint hypermobility – where some or all of a person’s joints have an unusually large range of movement.

The researchers wanted to find out if double jointed-ness might be a risk factor for long Covid in its own right.

They looked at 3,064 participants who had participated in the Covid Symptom Study Biobank, all of whom had had Covid at least once.

The participants were surveyed in August 2022 and asked if they had hypermobile joints, if they had fully recovered from their last Covid infection and if they were experiencing persistent fatigue.

Of the 914 participants who reported not having fully recovered from Covid, just under 30 percent of these (269) had generalized joint hypermobility.

After the researchers accounted for things like age, sex and number of Covid vaccinations received, joint hypermobility was strongly associated with a failure to recover fully from Covid.

Double-jointedness also significantly predicted high levels of fatigue, which also appeared to be a key factor in participant’s failure to make a full recovery.

Because the study was observational, the researchers said no firm conclusions can be drawn about whether joint hypermobility causes long Covid.

Other limitations were that most of the study participants were White and female, and the surveys were self-reported.

They also not did not account for other potentially influential factors, such as whether patients had pre-existing conditions, such as fibromyalgia, which is itself characterized by fatigue and brain fog.

The study was published in the journal BMJ Public Health.

SOURCE

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