Man holding his leg with joint pain

How Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) affects Mobility

Fri Oct 28 2022

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

  • joint pain

  • fatigue

  • 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.

Mobility products that may suit someone with EDS:

Quickie Neon 2

Folding Active Wheelchair
The Quickie Neon 2 is an affordable, yet high performance lightweight active wheelchair that features a compact folding frame that enables it to be easily transported.

Ki Mobility Rogue ALX

Rigid Active Wheelchair
Ki Mobility's Rogue ALX is a low cost ultra-light rigid framed wheelchair. With a sleek look, and light frame, it provides a stiffer and more responsive ride.

Progeo Joker R2

Rigid Active Wheelchair
Sporty in design and made from lightweight aluminium, Progeo's Joker R2 is a special edition of the renowned Joker, providing enhanced drive performance, and weight savings.

Ki Mobility Rogue XP

Rigid Active Wheelchair
The Rogue XP bridges s the ideal solution for adolescents who have growing yet to do, but nonetheless are after a light, active wheelchair.

Other Mobility Solutions to consider for EDS

You may wish to consider what type of handrims you have on your wheelchair. There are different shaped handrims available which are ergonomically designed for an easier grip. We recommend Nova H Handrims and the Natural Fit Handrims.

Another thing you may wish to consider are fold down push handles. These are an optional extra on any active wheelchair. The folding are great for when you are being pushed, and discrete and out of the way when you're not.

Want to get around faster? Our range of add-ons including the Benoit Systemes Light Drive are superb for getting you around further and faster, especially for moments where you may feel fatigued. Other add-ons include Wheel Drives and Handbikes.

Further Support for those living with EDS

If you are living with EDS and need extra support, you can find more information through the charity, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK.

For any mobility products, we recommend you speak to a product specialist by calling 0800 025 8005. By calling us, you can book your appointment to try any of the products we have listed on this site.

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