The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a group of genetic connective tissue disorders causing a defect in the structure of the body’s collagen. This results in varied presentations depending on the subtype and which type of collagen is impacted. Most of the types are characterized by joint hypermobility, stretchy skin, and fragile tissues. There are currently 13 subtypes recognized by the Ehlers-Danlos Society, however they are discovering even more, rarer subtypes that may be included in the future.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders Rehabilitation at Zion Physical Therapy
The Beighton Score, shown here, is the most well known criterion for assessment, but it is only one of many factors taken into account such as skin hyperextensibility, atrophic scarring, dental crowding, velvety skin, positive family history, and many more.
If you have any suspicion that you might have a hypermobility syndrome or connective tissue disorder, find a specialist in your area. With hEDS, knowledge truly is power as treatment must be viewed holistically and you can become a better self-advocate for your care. Though there is yet to be a “cure,” physical therapy remains the hallmark of treatment. Here at Zion Physical Therapy, we have taken the time to learn about the unique differences in the provision of care for a client with hEDS. Though many clients with hypermobility have been hurt in physical therapy in the past, you can rest assured that you are in good hands!
What is HSD?
Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) are an array of disorders related to joint hypermobility. When patients do not meet the criteria for hypermobile EDS (hEDS), a patient is diagnosed with HSD once every other possible cause is ruled out. HSD is widely misunderstood and should be treated with the same validation as EDS.
How can Zion Physical Therapy help me?
A comprehensive and individualized approach to rehabilitation is recommended for all patients with EDS or HSD. A physical therapy treatment plan is determined during the evaluation process and then implemented alongside with consultation with a patient’s multidisciplinary care team. Physical Therapy treatment for patients with hEDS and HSD can help with:
Therapeutic procedures for EDS/HSD may include the following: global postural re-education, muscle strengthening, balance and stability training, self care techniques, manual therapy and soft tissue mobilization, therapeutic exercise, taping or bracing, compression recommendations and physical therapy modalities.
At Zion Physical Therapy, we listen to your individual needs and unique differences that come in the provision of care for hEDS and HSD and you are treated by therapists with specialized training in this diagnosis.
Learn more on our resource page below about the condition, the benefits of physical therapy treatment, and tips for lifestyle management.
Pain: localized or widespread
Joint instabilities, subluxations and dislocations
Functional limitations, gross or fine motor
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
Incontience, vaginal, or pelvic pain
Gastrointestinal (GI) problems, and more.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) Rehabilitation
“For The Majority Of People With Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), It Will Take An Average Of 10 Years To Be Diagnosed.
We Can Do Something About It."
How can I be diagnosed?
All subtypes except for the most common hypermobile subtype have an identifiable gene and correlating blood test. Those types can be definitively diagnosed, whereas the hypermobile type is diagnosed by clinical criteria and exclusion of any other possible rheumatological or connective tissue cause. The gene hasn’t been found yet, but hopefully it will be found sometime in the near future.