Prolotherapy for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
In this article, Ross Hauser, MD and Danielle Steilen, PA-C, discuss Prolotherapy injection treatments to help patients suffering from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Better understanding EDS
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) may be thought of as an umbrella term for a growing group of hereditary disorders of the connective tissue mainly manifesting with generalized joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility, and vascular and internal organ fragility.1
It is also known as joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS).It is characterized by unusually flexible joints, very elastic skin and fragile tissues. The connective tissue of individuals with this syndrome neither forms nor heals properly. Research from February 2015 admits that “standard treatment is always symptomatic (just treats the symptoms) and usually unsuccessful.”
What are the symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
With this syndrome, the skin and joints are extremely flexible; the skin can be stretched to unusual levels. Wide scars often develop on the elbows, knees and shins. Small, round, hard lumps may also appear under the skin. While in general there is a tendency to bleed easily, a small wound may turn into a large gaping wound that might not bleed much at all. The hypermobility can be documented by the Breighton criteria which involves objective measurement of the hyperextensibility of various joints. While the major presenting complaint for these patients is typically pain in multiple joints, if the hypermobility is left unchecked, joint dislocations and degeneration may result.
Surgeries may be risky due to very sensitive inner organs as well as an inclination to sprains and dislocations. One fourth of all children afflicted with this disease may develop a hunchback and kyphoscoliosis, an abnormal curve of the spine, and many develop flat feet. Hernias are also common. Pregnant women may deliver prematurely due to the extreme flexibility of body tissues. In addition, the membranes containing the fetus may rupture early if the fetus has the syndrome.
Treating Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or Joint Hypermobility Syndrome
Management of JHS and EDS frequently includes education and lifestyle advice, behavior modification, manual therapy, taping and bracing, electrotherapy, exercise prescription, functional rehabilitation and collaborative working with a range of medical, health and fitness professionals.2 Progress is often slow and hampered by physical and emotional setbacks.
Prolotherapy for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or Hypermobility
Our use of comprehensive Prolotherapy offers great hope to those with symptoms of hypermobility because it is designed to successfully treat the ligament and tendon laxity that accompanies EDS and JHS, as well as strengthen the joints in the body with Prolotherapy and avoid the aggressive arthritis that would eventually lead to irreparable joints with this condition. Chronic pain is most commonly due to tendon and ligament weakness, cartilage deterioration and/or joint instability. The safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage is Prolotherapy. In simple terms, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It does so by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Since the body heals by inflammation, Prolotherapy stimulates healing.
Prolotherapy offers excellent results in treating the chronic pain associated with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Our office has many years’ experience since we have been treating this condition for over 50 years. We have seen patients who came to us in wheelchairs or totally disabled who are now walking normally and no longer disabled and go on to lead normal lives. They basically now live pain-free. Patients with EDS suffer with recurrent dislocations and typically have already had multiple orthopedic surgeries due to the dislocations when they arrive at our door. Some of these patient will stay overnight in a local hotel and have our specialists treat nearly every joint in their bodies over a couple of days. Typically they require conscious sedation due to the number of areas that are being treated at once. Even severe cases of EDS (and our clinic is known for handling really severe cases), can benefit from this Comprehensive technique of Prolotherapy and our approach to whole health.
Further research can be downloaded as a PDF file – our research from the Journal of Prolotherapy – Treatment of Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Including Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, with Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy
EDS patient testimonial treated with Comprehensive Prolotherapy
In this video, you will meet our patient, Louise, watch her brave battle with EDS, and see the courage it took for her and her family to travel from Europe to come to Caring Medical for the type of Prolotherapy. Since her treatment she has been able to go back into sports she thought she would no longer be able to participate in. Louise is a wonderful example of the power of Prolotherapy against EDS. We are grateful for her and her mother’s wish to share their story.
1. Castori M, Morlino S, Ghibellini G, Celletti C, Camerota F, Grammatico P. Connective tissue, hlers-Danlos syndrome(s), and head and cervical pain. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2015 Feb 5. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.31426.
2. Keer R, et al. Joint protection and physical rehabilitation of the adult with hypermobility syndrome. Current Opinions in Rheumatology. 2011;Mar:23(2):131-136.