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Ehlers-Danlos syndromes

Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of conditions that cause very flexible joints and stretchy and fragile skin.

Common symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes include unusually flexible joints and skin that stretches and breaks easily.

There's no cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. But support from professionals like physiotherapists can help you manage your symptoms.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is often inherited from your parents.

Read more on the NHS website.

Common symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes include unusually flexible joints and skin that stretches and breaks easily.

Symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS)

There are several types of EDS that may share some symptoms.

These include:

EDS can affect people in different ways. For some, the condition is relatively mild, while for others their symptoms can be disabling.

Read more on the NHS website.

There's no cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. But support from professionals like physiotherapists can help you manage your symptoms.

Medical treatments

There's no specific treatment for EDS, but it's possible to manage many of the symptoms with support and advice.

People with EDS may also benefit from support from a number of different healthcare professionals.

For example:

  • a physiotherapist can teach you exercises to help strengthen your joints, avoid injuries and manage pain
  • an occupational therapist can help you manage daily activities and give advice on equipment that may help you
  • counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may be useful if you're struggling to cope with long-term pain
  • for certain types of EDS, regular scans carried out in hospital can detect problems with internal organs
  • genetic counselling can help you learn more about the cause of your condition, how it's inherited, and what the risks are of passing it on to your children

Your GP or consultant can refer you to these services.

Self-care

It's important to be careful about activities that put a lot of strain on your joints or put you at risk of injury.

But it's also important not to be overprotective and avoid living an otherwise normal life.

Advice will depend on which type of EDS you have and how it affects you:

  • you may be advised to avoid some activities entirely, such as heavy lifting and contact sports
  • for some activities, you may need to wear appropriate protection and be taught how to reduce the strain on your joints
  • lower risk activities, such as swimming or pilates, may be recommended to help you stay fit and healthy
  • if fatigue is a problem, you can be taught ways to conserve your energy and pace your activities

Read more on the NHS website.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is often inherited from your parents.

Read more on the NHS website.