A common Beighton test, which your doctor or physical therapist uses to assess hypermobility, is the first step toward a hypermobile EDS diagnosis. Hypermobility is described as a score of five or higher. If your Beighton test is positive, your doctor can refer you to a geneticist, who will confirm the existence of EDS.
Your doctor will perform tests and examinations to see whether you have SI joint dysfunction due to EDS. Still, it can be difficult to tell because the primary symptom of SI joint dysfunction—low back pain—is common with other spinal disorders.
Nonetheless, your doctor can use various tests, such as diagnostic injections and physical exams, to determine if the cause of your pain is in your SI joints.
Conservative therapies and SI joint surgery are used to treat Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Since EDS has no cure, no medication will fully eliminate the condition. If you have SI joint instability due to your EDS, however, there are many recovery options available to help stabilize the SI joints and reduce symptoms.
The following non-surgical treatments for SI joint dysfunction will usually provide long-term relief.
- Using a trochanteric belt for support: A trochanteric belt is a brace that can help people with SI joint instability and EDS. By stabilizing the pelvis and avoiding unnecessary SI joint movement, this supportive system relieves discomfort and decreases inflammation.
- Gentle exercise and physical therapy: Exercises to strengthen and increase the flexibility of your SI joints can be taught by a physical therapist. Low-impact activities, such as aquatics or hydrotherapy, can also aid in the prevention of pain and the overall wellbeing of the spine.
- Medications and therapeutic injections: To relieve pain in your SI joints, your doctor can prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug or another prescription. You may also be a candidate for a SI joint injection. Injections may have been given to you during the screening process, but they may also be used to relieve pain. These injections can also be given before surgery on the SI joint.
If conservative therapy fails to relieve your symptoms, your doctor can suggest SI joint fusion surgery. The process entails fusing one or both SI joints to keep them from moving. The end aim is to relieve discomfort and permanently stabilize the joints.
Living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and SI Joint Dysfunction
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has no cure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a complete and happy life. If you have EDS and have sacroiliac joint dysfunction, speak to your doctor about pain management techniques and treatments that will help you stabilize your joints, relieve pain, and improve your quality of life.