Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) are a group of conditions that cause very flexible joints and stretchy and fragile skin. Because EDS causes joint hypermobility and frequent dislocations, and muscle weakness, mobility solutions such as a wheelchair may be used to relieve pain and prevent further injury.
Different Types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes
There are several types of EDS with hypermobile EDS being the most commonly diagnosed. Other types include classic, vascular and kyphoscoliotic EDS.
Whilst all of these differ in some way or another, hypermobility is the most common symptom due to the inability to replenish collagen.
EDS Symptoms and Hypermobility
Symptoms of EDS can vary person to person. According to the NHS for those living with hypermobile EDS, the most common symptoms are the following:
hypermobility in the joints
joints that easily dislocate
skin that bruises easily
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems which can include constipation and heartburn
increased heart rate which can lead to dizziness and heightened risk of falls
issues with internal organs
urinary incontinence and other bladder problems
Risks associated with EDS
Because of the symptoms that are presented with many types of EDS, there are other health complications associated. These include dislocated joints, inflammation, and a heightened risk of falling, causing secondary injuries.
Pain Management and Treatment for EDS
To prevent further injury and to relieve pain, there are different approaches some people take.
Pain killers and other medication can be useful in relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Medication to manage blood pressure may also be prescribed by your GP.
Physiotherapy is a really useful tool for those living with EDS. Weakened joints are more likely to dislocate and strengthening them through gentle exercise can be a useful management tool. During physiotherapy, you may also have certain joints held through the use of braces or kinesiology tape.
Many people living with EDS will also opt for a wheelchair. A wheelchair is not always necessary for every day use but can be great help for days when a person may feel fatigued. It is also useful in preventing falls.
Mobility Products for EDS
There are several mobility products that would suit a person living with EDS. The most commonly purchased mobility aid is a wheelchair, however, there are many other products including rollators, mobility scooters and powerchairs which could suit an individual and is all dependent on their symptoms and ability to move independently.