Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of connective tissue disorders that impact the joints, skin, and blood vessels. In people suffering from EDS, the collagen that makes up the connective tissue is fragile and stretchy. Because collagen is found throughout the body, symptoms of EDS can vary depending on where the collagen is weakened the most.
There’s no known cause for EDS, but genetics do play a role, and scientists have already pinpointed some genes present in certain subtypes of EDS.
Do you or a loved one live with EDS? Below, our specialists at Momentum Physical Therapy, go in-depth about the different subtypes of EDS. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options of EDS.
Up until 2017, EDS was grouped into six subtypes. Now, specialists have identified 13 subtypes of EDS, each with some unique characteristics and some overlapping symptoms. These include the following:
The most common subtypes of EDS are classical EDS and hypermobility EDS. The more problematic types of EDS are very rare. For example, the prevalence of cardiac-valvular subtype is less than one in a million people.
Also, EDS is on a spectrum. Some people with EDS are simply more flexible and occasionally experience problems maintaining their balance due to loose joints, whereas other EDS sufferers may experience more severe symptoms that require urgent medical attention.
The diagnosis of EDS is often made based on symptoms. Depending on what subtype your medical provider believes you have, you may be also recommended the following tests:
Another tool your provider may use is the Beighton score, which helps determine how mobile your joints are.
There’s no cure for EDS. However, you can prevent serious complications such as dislocations and falls due to loose joints. Physical therapy is one way you can stabilize your joints and prevent accidents.
Our experts use a gentler form of Pilates to treat joint hypermobility without raising the risk for dislocations. We customize the treatment for your needs, so you won’t have to worry about being uncomfortable throughout the session.
Aside from reducing the risks for falls, physical therapy can also reduce the risk of arthritis, which is often associated with EDS. Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out if physical therapy is the right treatment for your EDS subtype.