by Heather Grace IPJ Editor In Chief
BIG NEWS! Freddie Mercury had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome / Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder. Ok, we can’t know that for a fact, but there is clear & convincing evidence. I believe I’m the first to notice the telltale signs.
There’s no doubt Mercury was a mesmerizing stage presence. The way he moved & how into the music he was captivated audiences the world over. Is it possible that’s in part due to hypermobility? It’d sure make for more interesting performances. The level of animated movement possible in people with EDS is far beyond that of the average person.
So, does he have Ehlers Danlos? Really look at these images, as I have. His knee joint in Pic 1 above & elbow joint in Pic 2 below — both, bent backward!
Those are the most telling, as classic signs of Ehlers Danlos. In fact, Pic 1 is what forced me to carefully study Freddie Mercury in the first place, realizing those are very EDS-looking knees. What’s most important about his knees & elbows are the fact that these 4 joints alone give him the 4 points out of 9 needed to classify him as hypermobile using the Beighton Score. See the chart at the very end of this article.
And there’s indeed more…
In Pics 3 and 4 below (as well as many other photos of him), you can clearly see Freddie’s veins. Thin and/or transparent skin are all too common among us zebras. What’s more, both these photos show bruising & skin irritation. Check out the next two images carefully. In Pic 3, bruising is very visible on his extended R arm. In Pic 4, there’s skin irritation and what appears to be faded bruising on his L inner thigh.
There’s another very EDS sign he’s got: poor muscle tone. For somebody who’s so physical on stage, his muscles aren’t as defined as you’d expect. What’s most surprising to me is the lack of muscle tone in the early days, before the hard partying. (Note: The last photo on this page is the earliest one.)
The lead singer of Queen was unusually flexible too, as evidenced by how he pops his rib cage to the side in Pic 4, above. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. Have you?
Then there’s his entire pose in Pic 5, below. I don’t know about you, but neither of my elbow joints are capable of being folded totally flat the way his R arm is. There’s a definite gap, however small, near my wrists. This tells me his elbows were capable of hyperextension in both directions: inward & outward. Even the extension of his other arm is unusual, combined with the exaggerated inward turn of his wrist. Seriously, try it!
Add to that the fact that he’s able to hold a pose with his body outstretched & you know: he’s very strong despite the lack of muscle definition.
Let’s not forget his signature smile. He didn’t love his teeth, saying everything about him was perfect aside from them.
Dental crowding is very common in Ehlers Danlos. Would’ve been difficult to fix, judging by what my brother went through: 4 teeth had to be pulled for him to be fit with braces. And he wore those darn things for nearly 5 years, poor guy.
Perhaps the saddest thing for Mercury was his tragic final days with AIDS. I wonder whether his illness was hastened by EDS/HSD, knowing how common autoimmune issues are in these illnesses.
All I know with absolute certainty is that the world lost a legendary performer & an extraordinary talent the day Freddie Mercury died. Mercury really knew what audiences wanted, not just on stage but musically as well. Wow, do I miss him!
Not well-versed on Ehlers Danlos? Check out the two graphics below to learn more.