Learn About Conditions

What Is EDS?

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Finally getting the right diagnosis for your unexplained fatigue, pain, fragile skin and exceptional flexibility is a great relief, but more often than not, that's where the treatment of most incurable yet non-life threatening conditions ends. EDS, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, most definitely belongs in that category, and learning as much as you can about it can make living with this condition a lot more bearable. Read on to find out what causes it, how you can easily recognise it, and what you can do to relieve the most common symptoms.

What Is EDS?

EDS is a group of rare inherited conditions that affect connective tissue, known under the name EDS, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes. Connective tissues provide support in skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs and bones, which means the condition can have an impact on virtually any part of your body.

The different types are caused by faults in certain genes that make connective tissue weaker and, depending on the specific type, the faulty gene may have been inherited from one parent or even both parents. A person with EDS can only pass on the same type of EDS to their children, yet the severity of the condition may vary within the same family.

To date 13 major types of EDS have been identified, and despite their common name, each type is a distinct condition, caused by a different gene mutation. Some of the most common types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes include:

  • Hypermobile type: makes your joints bend farther than they should, which makes them more likely to be dislocated or sprained. Up to one person in 10,000 may be suffering from this type of EDS.
  • Classic type: causes your skin to be smooth, extremely stretchy and fragile, while sprains, dislocations or conditions such as flat feet are also very common. This form of EDS affects about one person of every 20,000 to 40,000 people.
  • Vascular type: weakens your blood vessels and makes your organs more likely to have a tear. Approximately one person in 250,000 is born with this condition.

What Are the Symptoms of EDS?

Though each type of EDS affects different areas of the body, there are certain symptoms that are common to most types. The hypermobile, classic and vascular types share the following symptoms:

  • Joint hypermobility
  • Loose, unstable joints that dislocate easily
  • Skin that easily bruises
  • Problems with internal organs

Bendy Fingers
Joint hypermobility is one of the most common symptoms of EDS

Living with EDS

There is no cure or specific treatment for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), but proper support, advice and pain management can help relieve most of your symptoms. While it's important not to become overprotective of your body, adapting your activities to fit your condition is crucial if you want to prevent potential injuries:

  • Avoid heavy lifting and contact sports
  • Use sunscreen to protect your delicate skin
  • Don't use any harsh soaps that may dry out your skin
  • Wear protective clothing or pads over your knees and elbows to prevent bruising
  • Engage in lower-risk activities, such as swimming, yoga and pilates, to help you stay fit and healthy
  • Learn how to conserve your energy and pace your activities to avoid fatigue

Perform Pilates
Low-risk exercise can help you stay fit and healthy

If you feel you might need something a bit more structured to help you ease the pain and make your everyday more comfortable, you should definitely consider:

  • Physical therapy that helps to build muscle tone and improve your coordination.
  • Braces and other assistive devices, such as a wheelchair or scooter, that can make getting around easier
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements that will help strengthen your muscles

5 Products People with EDS Swear By

Dealing with pain, fatigue and dislocations on a daily basis is exhausting, and although there are virtually no specific items designed for individuals with EDS, numerous products can help you alleviate the symptoms. Each person with EDS is different, and it may take some time before you find what suits you the most, but you can start with a few suggestions from people with similar problems.

Rock Tape

Rocktape Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape lifts the skin away from the muscles to allow for decompression in the area, helping to reduce swelling and pain. RockTape Kinesiology Tape is one of the best kinesiology tapes on the market that offers excellent stretch and durability.

KT Tape

KT Tape Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape

KT Tape Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape is a top quality kinesiology tape that works similarly to Rock Tape, helping to improve circulation and reduce pain and inflammation in sore muscles and joints. It can even help to stabilise joints and reduce swelling.

Compression Sleeves

Sigvaris Advance 30 - 40 mmHg Natural Compression Sleeve with Grip Top

Compression can be used on your arms or legs to improve the blood flow and help with muscle fatigue or pain. This Sigvaris Compression Sleeve is made from thermo-regulating, natural microfibre fabric, making it ideal for all seasons.

Compression Leggings

LP Embio Leg Support Compression Tights

On a similar note, compression leggings improve blood circulation in your legs, in addition to keeping your joints in place to prevent hyperextension. These LP Embio Compression Tights are designed to support hips, thighs, knees and calves, prevent muscle fatigue and decrease inflammation.

TENS Machine

Beurer EM41 Digital TENS and EMS Machine

A TENS Machine uses small electric currents to provide nerve and muscle stimulation, as well as a gentle massage. This can help to relieve any pain and soreness in your muscles.

Do you have any questions or something to add? Share your thoughts below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Monday, 23 July 2018

Recovering after a stroke is a long and arduous process, and in some cases it can take years for the person to fully recover. Speeding up the process and maximising the patient's chances of a complete recovery, physical rehabilitation is of the utmost importance. Most hand exercises are very simple to learn, but finding the best ones is sometimes a hassle. To help you regain your fine motor skills, we've gathered the Best Hand Exercises for Stroke Patients all in once place.

Monday, 9 July 2018

With summer practically begging us to spend as much time outdoors as we possibly can, finding a great way to get some exercise and improve your health shouldn't be too difficult. Whether you're trying to lose a few pounds, get in better shape or simply do your future self a big favour, walking is one of the best options out there. Read on to find out why you should take up walking this summer.

Friday, 22 June 2018

While overheating is rare in cats, the problem is frequent with dogs. We know how easy it is to think this could never happen to your furry best friend, but the fact is we often overestimate their ability to tolerate heat that might still be perfectly acceptable to us. We've come up with a list of seven tips that can help you both prevent dog overheating in the first place, as well as help your canine companion in case you've already noticed any of the signs.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

If you don't break a sweat while running, you're doing it wrong. But sweating, especially from the face or head, is not always as acceptable as during a workout, or on a hot summer day.

If you seem to be sweating even when there's no real cause behind it, you're most likely here because you are trying to stop this embarrassing yet generally harmless problem. Read on to find out how you can stop excessive face sweating with our 5 Simple Tricks.

Monday, 11 June 2018

A bunion can be easily recognised by bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe. Other common symptoms of a bunion include swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint, corns or calluses formed on the base of the big toe, restricted movement of your big toe and painful feet. If you've been experiencing any one of these signs, read on to discover how you can get rid of bunions in the comfort of your own home with these Foot Exercises for Bunions Treatment Without Surgery.

Friday, 1 June 2018  |  Paul

If you require oxygen therapy, you might find that the jargon and technical knowledge surrounding your equipment can prevent you from getting the therapy that you need. As such, our guide on How to Choose an Oxygen Cylinder is designed to clear away the confusion and help you to find your perfect sized oxygen bottle. Read on to learn more!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018
How to Stop Excessive Sweating

Sweating, especially in hot weather or right after working out, is perfectly normal, so you shouldn't worry too soon. If, however, you tend to sweat even when your body doesn't need to cool down, you might be suffering from excessive sweating, also known is hyperhidrosis. To help you fight this common condition without having to see a doctor, this short article on How to Stop Excessive Sweating includes some of the best suggestions for how to efficiently deal with excessive sweating and regain your confidence.

Monday, 26 March 2018

If you or someone you are caring for is temporarily or permanently confined to a bed or wheelchair, pressure sores are a real possibility you want to avoid at all costs. This short article will help you learn how to evaluate the patient's risk of developing a sore, and find the best possible solution to prevent this from ever happening.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Back problems are some of the most common ailments around, with millions of people in the UK alone suffering from some form of back pain every day. While these problems have a wide range of causes, poor posture is almost always at play. Whether your posture suffers because of a general slouch or an unsuitable work chair, solutions are out there, and we're here to help! We've selected some of our best posture correctors and back supports to get rid of your pain for good!


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