Home / Conditions / Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
The Ehlers Danlos Syndromes are a group of genetic disorders affecting connective tissue (joints, skin, and arterial and veinous walls). Connective tissue underlies the strength or elasticity of bodily tissues, and as such Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome often causes hyperextensible joints and fragile, pliable skin.
There exist 13 EDS subtypes, diagnosed according to affected tissues and molecular genetics. A list of these is shown below, with each linking to detailed descriptions from the Ehlers-Danlos Society.
- Classical EDS (cEDS)
- Classical-like EDS (clEDS)
- Cardiac-valvular EDS (cvEDS)
- Vascular EDS (vEDS)
- Hypermobile EDS
- Arthrochalasia EDS (aEDS)
- Dermatosparaxis EDS (dEDS)
- Kyphoscoliotic EDS (kEDS)
- Brittle Cornea Syndrome (BCS)
- Spondylodysplastic EDS (spEDS)
- Musculocontractural EDS (mcEDS)
- Myopathic EDS (mEDS)
- Periodontal EDS (pEDS)
Symptoms vary between the different EDS subtypes. The most common variant, hEDS (hypermobile EDS), often presents with:
- Overly-flexible joints. Due to looser-than-normal connective tissue between joints, hyperextension is possible. This can lead to dislocations and pain.
- Fragile skin. Weakened skin poses risks for wound healing, as sutures may tear the closure tissue.
- Stretchy skin.
There is no cure for EDS, although symptom control and prevention can help in the management of the condition. Physiotherapy is important in the treatment of EDS as a means of preventing joint dislocations. As discussed above, loose connective tissue within joints puts one at higher risk of dislocations—the strengthening of the tissues and joint control mitigates this risk. As well, the prescribed use of braces may help reduce the risk of dislocation.
Many of our physiotherapists have experience in working with clients with EDS. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
This website provides general information about our services and conditions treated. It is not intended to be used for self-assessment or treatment, and is not a substitute for an individualized treatment plan developed by a registered physiotherapist.
By the Action Potential Rehabilitation Staff
Page last reviewed: June 2, 2023