These rare, inherited disorders cause overly flexible joints and loose, fragile skin.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a collection of genetic disorders that affect connective tissue. People who have EDS have problems with their collagen, a protein that adds strength and elasticity to connective tissue. This faulty collagen affects many body parts, including skin, muscles, ligaments and joints.
All EDS types combined occur in 1/2,500 to 1/5,000 births.
The specific EDS type most associated with arthritis is hypermobility type (hEDS). This type is known for frequent joint dislocation, degenerative joint disease and chronic pain.
People with hEDS may include the following in their treatment plan:
• Physical therapy.
• Exercises to strengthen muscles to support unstable joints.
• Assistive devices like braces, wheelchairs or scooters.
• Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers for joint or muscle pain.
• In rare cases, surgery to repair joints damaged by repeated dislocations.
Learn more about the medications used to treat Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes at arthritis drug guide.
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