What are Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes?
Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) are a group of hereditary connective tissue disorders.
EDS are generally characterized by joint hypermobility, joint instability and dislocations, skin hyperextensibility and abnormal scarring, and other structural issues such as hernias and pelvic organ prolapse.
Those with EDS may go through years of undiagnosed, persistent pain, gut, bowel, and bladder problems, as well as difficulty regulating their blood pressure.
What does EDS have to do with Pelvic Health?
Short answer: quite a lot.
It is believed that people with EDS may be at risk for pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) due to hypermobility of connective tissue.
Common forms of PFD in people with EDS:
- Bladder Pain/Recurrent UTIs
- Urinary Retention/Voiding Dysfunction
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (bladder, uterine, and/or rectal)
- Chronic Hip, Back, and Pelvic Pain
- Pain with Intercourse (Vulvodynia & Vestibulodynia)
- Obstetric Complications such as Uterine Rupture, Postpartum Hemorrhage, separation of Pubic Symphysis and/or Coccyx dislocation
What can we do for those with EDS in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Gratefully, also quite a lot.
- Strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints to increase overall stability
- Teach body mechanics/strategies for protecting the joints
- Strategies for improving gut motility and mobility
- Strategies for more effective bladder voiding and stopping leakage
What do we do specifically for EDS in pregnancy in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
- Postural and movement training to protect joints and pelvic floor
- Manage constipation, water intake, and pressure on pelvic floor to reduce risk of prolapse
- Teach how to use external support such as the SI joint belt
- Teach laboring positions that put the least strain on joints, pubic symphysis, and coccyx
Although EDS are considered a rare category of disorders, we see so many EDS patients in our clinic, especially when they are pregnant and then postpartum.
Pelvic Health PT makes a huge difference in their comfort level and quality of life.
Are you or is anyone you know affected by EDS?
If anything I’ve said resonates with you, book a FREE 10-minute consult call today. You CAN get relief and you CAN feel better than you do right no. Give us a call today ✨
Be empowered in education,
OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy