One of the most common symptoms among folks with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is joint hypermobility – in other words, extremely flexible joints that move beyond the typical range of motion. Though being super flexible may sound like a neat party trick, hypermobility can actually be incredibly painful and damaging to the body. In fact, some EDS-ers may have such bendy joints that it’s a common occurrence to dislocate or sublux (partially dislocate) a joint.
Dislocating a joint is no laughing matter. When it happens regularly, that pain and discomfort can really begin to wear on you, both physically and mentally. But sometimes, dislocation or subluxation might occur in the middle of the most ridiculously mundane task, causing you to roll your eyes at your body and laugh, “Seriously? This is what did it?”
When you’re facing the challenges of EDS day in and day out, a little humor can be a welcome distraction. That’s why we asked our Mighty EDS community to share some of the most ridiculous ways they’ve dislocated or subluxed a joint and rounded up our favorite responses below.
While the injuries themselves aren’t funny, hopefully, the silliness of the situations can brighten your day and remind you that you’re not alone in all the weirdness of EDS.
Here’s what our community shared with us:
- “Getting my nails done this weekend – the manicurist grabbed my finger too hard and popped it out. I’m not sure who was more surprised, me or her.” – Haley Q.
- “I’ve subluxed my hip while in bed with my husband. Fantastically embarrassing way to kill a romantic evening!” – @2up2down
- “I dislocated my wrist picking up my backpack. My backpack wasn’t even that heavy, my wrist just popped out! No one would believe me when I told them why I was in a brace.” – Amy B.
- “I was lying in a hospital bed and my shoulder subluxed. Freaked the ER nurse out a bit. I also pop my fingers literally all the time when picking things up.” – @bloodanube
- “I dislocated my thumb doing up my bra.” – Oliver B.
- “Was out swimming with friends. But I didn’t mess up my shoulder by swimming while pulling a friend of mine nor did I hurt my shoulder diving. No. I was walking. In the pool. I was walking and my shoulder popped out. I swim with one arm for 20 minutes cause I couldn’t get it to be ‘right again’ (could move my arm but it felt wonky and painful). My friends still joke that I’m better swimming than walking.” – @griffinbean
- “I popped my knee out attempting to put my hip back in place.” – Bastian H.
- “Pulling up my jeans one day… It was just one day that I didn’t want to wear leggings.” – Catherine M.
- “I mainly just dislocated things in my sleep, however, the other day I just moved my finger and it popped out of place. My jaw also dislocated while yawning once. It is a pretty common occurrence that I dislocate my jaw while eating as well.” – @madithefighter
- “I was playing fetch with the dog and dislocated my shoulder throwing it harder than I should have.” – Mary H.
- “I bent oh so slightly to put a teaspoon in the dishwasher… and bam! There goes my left SI joint! Had to be picked up by my OH and moved (in some half slide half-carried fashion) to the nearest chair… from some bizarre position between the kitchen side and the floor. The pain was unreal.. as I’m sure you fellow EDSers know so well!” – Chrissy B.
- “Subluxated my finger getting toilet paper off the roll.” – Katherine L.
- “My massage therapist told me she stays away from my spine because if she touches too close to it, there’s a wave of moving vertebrae which shouldn’t be moving like that…” – @emunahstark
- “Once I dislocated my shoulder… by trying to relocate my other shoulder. It was like playing whack-a-mole with my joints. Another time, my hip came out of place when I sneezed. My thumbs also sublux whenever I hold a doorknob or a water bottle.” – Charlotte P.
- “Walking downstairs. Missed the last step on the landings and rolled my ankle pretty good, I almost thought it was broken! Grace was never my forte.” – @
- “Sleeping, my shoulder subluxes most nights. Pick up a shovel, my elbow subluxes. I dislocated a finger rock pooling, and ribs sneezing, jaw chewing. My daughter once dislocated a finger plating her hair, that was special.” – Lydia C.
- “The most ridiculous one for me is always when my hips sublux just from sitting in one position too long.” – @algaedad
- “Walking across a parking lot, my left ankle forgot how to be an ankle. Brushing my teeth, subluxed my jaw. Sleeping, subluxed my jaw, knee, shoulder, wrist. My thumbs hyperextend backward around 90 degrees, so without my splints, I hyperextend them doing pretty much everything.” – Elise L.B.
- “Dislocated my shoulder pulling a towel put of the washer. I have also dislocated it by picking up my purse.” – Mel D.
- “My husband has EDS and epilepsy. When he had a seizure, he subluxated his shoulder. At the ER they couldn’t find anything and refused to give him a sling, so it took a while before his shoulder recovered.” – Emma Z.
- “Not me, but my son age 1. My little sister and him were playing, she pulled on his arm as tickling his belly and his elbow dislocated. Apparently, it’s a thing called nursemaids elbow and I cringe when I see anyone pick a child up by their arms.” – @
- “I was laying in bed, video chatting with my boyfriend and I sneezed and subluxated my hip…” – @aileenchicken
- “On a swing! There was no weight on it and I didn’t accidentally put it on a weird angle, I was just happily swinging away and dislocated my knee – as in my kneecap went round to the back of my leg and then came back again. I was 6.” – Christina O.
- “Sitting in the car too long on a bumpy unpaved road – dislocated my kneecap literally just sitting there as we were on ‘backwoods cabin’ vacation about 60 miles from the nearest town. Fun times.” – @sbitt
- “Sneezing! There’s nothing like a nice loud sneeze followed by a shriek when a rib decides it’s time to take a break from my body and try life on its own. Silly rib, my EDS might make you want to leave but the ability to touch my nose with my tongue always draws you back!” – Kelly P.
- “I shivered too hard on the boardwalk and popped my shoulder out.” – @
- “I have subluxated many joints, but the craziest was probably just from touching my hand. I woke up with a painful hand so decided to press on my hand. [Silly]. One touch and it subluxated and the pain was 100 times worse, I almost puked and passed out from the pain. What I’d like to know is the craziest way you’ve fixed a subluxated joint?? For me… my husband slid a hardcover children’s book in between the mattress and my kneecap… popped it right back in.” – Elle S.
What’s a ridiculous way you’ve dislocated a joint? Let us know in the comments below!
Connect with other EDS-ers 24/7 on The Mighty to give and receive support, distraction, advice and encouragement. To read more about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, check out the following stories from our Mighty community:
- 14 Ways to Describe What a Subluxation Feels Like
- The Unexpected Symptoms of Hypermobility
- 14 Photos That Show the Different Ways Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Can Manifest
- When Your Invisible Disability Becomes Visible
- 26 Everyday Tasks, and What They Feel Like for a Person With Joint Hypermobility