Ehlers Danlos Occupational Therapy

Occupation: The responsibilities you play in your life, as well as the completion of tasks and activities that allow you to fulfill those duties.

Therapy: Assisting you in carrying out your responsibilities and finding meaning in your actions.

What is the purpose of occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy aims to help you achieve and retain independence in as many parts of your life as possible.

Difference Between Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) focuses on the body’s mechanics, whereas occupational therapy (OT) focuses on assisting patients in performing critical daily tasks.

For example, one therapist’s objective is for patients to be able to hold the handle of a hairbrush comfortably. Patients may now only hold it with their thumb and the first two fingers of their hand, which is a significant limitation. That’s a different type of goal-setting than what most patients are used to, but it makes sense in this situation as well.

It is difficult for patients to write since they are unable to curl their damaged fingers out of the way effectively.

In occupational therapy, on the other hand, the therapist encourages patients to work through their limitations rather than finding ways around them, which is understandable. On the other hand, patients may develop a habit of avoiding a limitation rather than attempting to correct it.

While there are some parallels between physical therapy and occupational therapy, there are also some distinctions. Patients were able to proceed in a new way because of occupational therapy. It has given the patients the confidence to push themselves beyond their perceived limits healthily and suitably. And that’s a lesson I’ll keep in mind in the future as well.

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers Danlos Syndromes are hereditary disorders that result in a lack of collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen may be found in various tissues throughout the body, including the skin, bone, blood vessels, internal organs, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and even the enamel of the teeth. A connective tissue condition (such as EDS) occurs when the collagen in the body is damaged, causing problems in one or more of these body components.

Among the many different types of EDS, the most prevalent one is Hypermobility Type, which affects roughly 1 in every 5000 individuals worldwide. Symptoms of all kinds of EDS are similar, including hypermobile joints, soft and fragile skin, and generalized weakening of the body’s tissues, resulting in easy bruising, hernias, flexible blood vessels, and heart valve problems. No two EDSers are identical, and each one will present in a unique way to the audience. Some people suffer from predominantly joint difficulties, while others suffer from mostly stomach problems. The severity of the disease varies greatly from one individual to another. Because there is no ‘cure’ for EDS, numerous therapies are focused on alleviating particular symptoms of the condition.

At this time, there are no precise tests available to determine whether or whether someone has Hypermobile EDS. The Brighton criteria are used to diagnose a person’s medical history and a physical examination, which are both performed. Genetic testing can be used to detect the presence of other types of EDS.


EDS Symptoms and Occupational Therapy

Many persons who have EDS have unstable joints that are prone to dislocation and are therefore at risk of harm. In order to ensure that everyday activities do not exacerbate joint issues, Joint Protection employs many concepts to prevent joint problems from occurring in the first place.

Increased muscle tone may frequently be used to treat joint hypermobility, which is why physiotherapy is so essential in managing joint dysfunction. Often, tailoring physiotherapy to individual needs makes it simpler to adhere to regimens and conserve energy. When it comes to preserving muscular strength, general exercise and fitness are crucial in addition to physiotherapy. Many fitness exercises include some components of stretching and yoga; they must be done with extreme caution, but they may be pretty helpful when done correctly.

If you’re still having trouble with wacky joints, it may be time to consider splitting your joints. I’m currently putting up a thorough guide to splinting that will address all of your splinting-related issues. Everything from different types of splinting to medical corsetry and Kinesiology Taping is covered in this course.

Pain is another symptom of EDS that must be addressed. Ehlers Danlos syndrome is associated with both acute pain (resulting from traumas) and chronic pain in many persons. Pain-killing medications are frequently prescribed, but a variety of pain-management techniques do not require pills or can be used in conjunction with medications.

Frustration is a primary concern for many EDSers; the effort required to keep one’s body together merely may make performing daily chores extremely tough. Slow and steady wins the race when dealing with chronic pain. It takes some getting accustomed to, but the results are well worth the effort. If you’re having trouble with pace, I offer video chat pacing master lessons to help you out. The importance of getting high-quality sleep cannot be overstated in conjunction with pace. Good sleep hygiene can aid in the treatment of ‘painsomnia.’

Maintaining a healthy sleep/wake cycle might be challenging when you are suffering from fatigue and ‘painsomnia.’ Sleep hygiene may aid in the promotion of excellent quality sleep as well as the maximization of energy levels.

Many people who suffer from EDS find it challenging to go around because of the discomfort and tiredness they experience daily. Mobility aids can be quite beneficial in managing a wide range of symptoms, including pain, fatigue, and orthostatic intolerance, among others. The use of mobility aids such as wheelchairs can significantly improve one’s overall quality of living.

Many people who have EDS suffer from various digestive issues, including reflux and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Often, they may be controlled with dietary modifications; therefore, it’s worth discussing the possibility of visiting a dietician with your primary care physician. Bladder problems are also not uncommon, and any concerns should be discussed with your doctor.

When you get up, you may experience dizziness and a rapid heart rate, which are also symptoms of EDS. This is frequently a symptom of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, also known as PoTS. Which, once again, can generally be overcome by hard effort and a few changes in one’s way of life.

Interstitial organ issues, such as prolapses and hernias, are less prevalent but potentially more dangerous consequences associated with EDS. These are often handled by doctors that specialize in this field.

Learning to self-manage your symptoms can take some time, and there may be moments when you require a little more assistance or supervision. It’s critical to understand what you can handle on your own and when you should seek medical attention.

If you seek medical attention, you must establish positive therapeutic connections with your healthcare professionals. The ability to develop a positive working relationship with your primary care physician can make a living with a long-term ailment significantly simpler.

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