People with severe forms of double jointedness have a greater risk of suffering from migraine headaches, a new study finds. They also tend to have more severe and more frequent attacks.
People who fit the profile for having joint hypermobility are, for example, able to bend their thumbs back to their forearms, overextend their elbows and place their palms on the floor without bending their knees.
Researchers believe that both conditions are connected to over-elastic collagen.
Collagen is one of the body's basic building blocks. It is used to form many bodily structures such as joints and blood vessels. Researchers say that if the collagen is too elastic, it leads to both flexible joints and stretchy blood vessels - problems involved in joint hypermobility syndrome and migraine, respectively.
Using interviews and written questionnaires, the researchers compared 28 severely double-jointed women to 232 female patients at two primary care practices.
They found that 75 percent of double-jointed people also got migraines. By contrast, only 43 percent suffered from migraines in the comparison group.
When taking into account the participants' age and medication use, double-jointed people had three times the risk of migraines as their less flexible peers.
They also had the migraine headaches nearly twice as many days each month, and were more likely to experience migraine aura.
The study was published in the medical journal Cephalalgia.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/hErCVH Cephalalgia, online January 28, 2011.