Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Disorders
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a condition that affects the connective tissues in your skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. This condition commonly causes overly flexible joints and excessive elasticity in the skin. While there are 13 different types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, the two most common include vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos hypermobility.
At DC Hand - The Hand and Upper Extremity Institute of Greater Washington, we are proud to offer diagnostic testing for your hypermobility. Dr. Raizman and his expert medical team are also happy to offer personalized treatment plans to help alleviate your discomfort.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms
Common symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include:
- Thin, fragile skin
- Excessive bruising
- Stretchy skin
- Unstable joints
Patients who have vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may experience distinctive facial features like a thin upper lip, small nose, small earlobes, and prominent eyes. This condition, in addition to causing the above symptoms, may also weaken the heart’s arteries.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Causes
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is caused by genetic abnormalities that weaken the collagen that the body produces. This genetic disorder is inherited and there is a possibility of passing this syndrome onto future generations.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Treatment
While there is no single treatment to address complications of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, our medical professionals may recommend a personalized treatment plan comprised of the following:
- Medications. Dr. Raizman and his team may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers to address uncomfortable joint pain caused by your Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Blood pressure medications may also be recommended for patients with vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
- Physical Therapy. Regimented physical therapy exercises can help patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome strengthen their joints. Your physical therapists may also recommend tailored braces to further strengthen joints and prevent dislocations.
- Skin Protection. Simple home remedies can make a huge difference in symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Our providers may recommend using sunscreen regularly to protect the skin against UV rays. We may also recommend taking vitamin C supplements to help prevent unwanted bruising.
Other Hypermobility Disorders
Not all patients who experience hypermobility have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Other hypermobility disorders include joint hypermobility syndrome and Marfan syndrome, a condition that affects connective tissues and elastic fibers within the body. While these conditions are not caused by the same genetic factors, they often do present themselves in a similar way.
Patients may know if they have a hypermobility disorder if they experience the following symptoms:
- Frequent joint dislocations
- Frequent sprains
- Thin, stretchy skin
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor balance
Like with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, there is no single treatment available for hypermobility disorders. Our expert medical professionals may recommend a series of remedies to help you alleviate your discomfort. Among these remedies include physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medication, blood pressure medication, and skin protection.
If you’re unsure which treatment is right for you, we encourage you to come in for a private consultation with one of our providers at your earliest convenience. They’ll be happy to sit down with you, listen to your concerns, and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your ultimate health goals.
If you live in the Washington, DC, metro area and you experience hypermobility that needs immediate treatment, call the experts at DC Hand at the Office of Orthopaedic Medicine & Surgery at (202) 835-2222.