Can Ehlers Danlos Cause Arthritis?

Yes, EDS can cause arthritis, especially joint hypermobility. Simply put, it means you can rotate any or all of your joints more than the average person, which leads to inflammation and pain. You may have noticed that your joints were more supple than others from a young age. It may be double-jointed. Your doctor can refer to this as generalized joint hypermobility if several joints are affected by inflammation.

Hypermobility is not a medical disorder in and of itself, and many people are unaware that they are hypermobile if it causes no problems. It may also be beneficial in sports, musical instruments, or dance, but usually, this is not good.

Some people with hypermobile joints, on the other hand, can experience symptoms such as joint or muscle pain, as well as find that their joints are more vulnerable to fracture or dislocation. If you have signs, you may be suffering from joint hypermobility syndrome, known as benign joint hypermobility syndrome (BJHS) or Ehlers–Danlos syndrome type 3.

Who is afflicted with joint hypermobility/arthritis in EDS?

Arthritis due to EDS is more common in some people than in others. The following are the most crucial factors to consider:

1.     Genetics

Arthritis caused by irregular collagen or shallow joint sockets is likely to be passed down through the generations. However, it is unknown whether joint pain associated with hypermobility is inherited.

2.     Gender

Arthritis due to EDS is more common in women than in men.

3.     Age

The collagen fibers in your ligaments begin to tie together more as you get older, which is why many of us get stiffer as we get older. People who are hypermobile and pain-free while younger can find that they are less flexible in their 30s and 40s, making stretching movements more uncomfortable.

4.     Racial history

People of various ethnic backgrounds have varying degrees of arthritis, which may be due to variations in collagen protein structure.

5.     Other circumstances

Arthritis is common in people with Down’s syndrome. Arthritis is also a symptom of some rarer inherited diseases, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, Marfan syndrome, and some forms of Ehlers–Danlos syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms of arthritis due to EDS

Although hypermobility is not a medical condition in and of itself, some people with hypermobile joints may experience more aches and pains when performing daily tasks. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of joint hypermobility syndrome:

  • Muscle strain or discomfort (especially after strenuous physical activity) – If your joints are supple, your muscles will have to work harder, resulting in muscle strain and fatigue. In addition, the muscles around the joint develop an ‘overuse’ injury (though the pain may seem to come from the joint itself).
  • Joint stiffness – Fluid accumulating within the joint may cause a joint to feel rigid or tense. This is most likely due to the body’s attempt to heal the minor damage that occurs when a muscle or joint is overstretched. Your pain will usually get worse as the day progresses and improve at night as you sleep.
  • Foot and ankle pain – You can easily twist and strain your ankles, and you may have a flat arch in your foot, which can cause foot pain, particularly after a long period of standing.
  • Neck and back pain – If your spine is especially supple and the muscles around it aren’t functioning properly to support it, this can be a concern. On rare occasions, the bones in your back will collide with one another (this is called a spondylolisthesis).
  • Injured or dislocated joints – When hypermobile joints are overstretched, they are more likely to be injured than regular joints. The shoulder and kneecap are the most popular places for a joint to dislocate. Soft tissues (cartilage, tendons, and ligaments) in and around joints may tear.

Reasons for this

Four factors can influence whether you have hypermobile joints:

  1. The bones shape: If the socket portion of your hip or shoulder joint is especially shallow, the joint’s range of motion will be greater than normal, and the risk of dislocation will be higher. This is more than likely to involve either one or a few joints. While it is not a common cause of hypermobility, it is most likely inherited.
  2. Ligaments: Ligaments are made up of several protein fibers, including elastin (which provides stretchiness) and collagen (which provides strength). Weak or stretched ligaments are made up of several types of protein fibers, including elastin (which provides stretchiness) and collagen (which provides strength) (which gives strength). Small changes in your body’s chemical processes can cause weakened collagen fibers and increased elasticity in the ligaments that keep your joints together. Many joints are likely to become hypermobile as a result of this. There’s a lot of evidence that hypermobility caused by irregular collagen can be passed on from generation to generation. Half of their young children are likely to inherit this form of hypermobility if one parent has it, while members of the same family may be affected differently.
  3. Muscle tone: The nervous system regulates the tone (or stiffness) of your muscles. The more relaxed your body muscles are, the more mobility your joints can have.
  4. Proprioception (sense of joint movement): Some people find it difficult to sense the location of a joint when they can’t see it.

Treatment

Following procedures can cure arthritis due to EDS.

1.     Physiatric treatments

Exercising is beneficial in studies. In most cases, doing gentle exercises to strengthen and condition the muscles around arthritic joints can help to alleviate the symptoms. The key is to do these strengthening exercises often and consistently, but not to overdo them. If at all possible, use only small weights.

A physiotherapist will help you find workouts that are right for you. Gentle stretching seems to be beneficial to some individuals.

If you need to protect against dislocation, you can use splints, taping, or solid elastic bandages. These may be discussed with an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.

2.     Medications

If you have symptoms, painkillers (analgesics) are the most common treatment. The first line of defense is usually paracetamol. It’s also preferable to take a dose before engaging in physical exercise in order to keep the discomfort under control rather than waiting until it becomes unbearable. If required, your doctor can prescribe a stronger painkiller like co-codamol or co-dydramol, but these can have side effects like constipation or dizziness.

If your joint swells frequently, particularly after a dislocation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be more beneficial. Ibuprofen is available without a prescription at your nearest pharmacy or store. If the daily dosage isn’t working, talk to your doctor about raising the dose or switching to a different NSAID. Since NSAIDs may cause stomach problems, your doctor may prescribe another medication in addition to the NSAID to protect your stomach. If you have an increased risk of heart failure or stroke, your doctor would be hesitant to prescribe NSAIDs.

Painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also available as sprays or creams that can be applied directly to the painful joint. These might not be as powerful as tablets, but they may be an option if tablets aren’t an option for you.

3.     Surgical procedures

In general, unless necessary, surgery in and around the joints is not recommended for people with joint hypermobility syndrome or severe arthritis. This is because rather supple tissue does not recover as well as less supple tissue. Furthermore, some people with arthritic joints bruise quickly and can need additional blood transfusions if they undergo major sur

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