Ehlers-Danlos Syndrom (EDS) is an inherited disorder that affects the connective tissues within the body. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body. The most affected connective tissues are the skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. Many treatment options include drugs, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is an issue not often considered as a treatable condition through chiropractic care. However, chiropractic is an excellent choice and has had successful results treating this condition.
There are several types of EDS, chiropractors have had most success treating Type 3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This form involves joint hypermobility (easy movement beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint). Type 3 affects both large and small joints with recurring joint fixations (joints that stick together because of adhesion) and dislocations (injury in which the bones of a joint are forced out of normal position).
The treatment for a patient with EDS can include small specific mobilization (slower and gentler movement than manipulation) from the chiropractor. This helps to release adhesion (internal scar tissue that is connecting tissues that are not normally connected) and restore mobility in the joints.
The most significant treatment is to restore joint stability. This is done by reconnecting the brain with the tissues of the body allowing for better communication between the brain and affected joint on the joint’s position. Improved joint stability of a specific joint is achieved by releasing overly tight muscles through myofascial release technique (massage) and strengthening weaker muscles through resistance training on even and uneven surfaces.
Written by: Danique Howell, DC, MSHS