Newly Diagnosed: Treatment Strategies for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
While Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) has no cure, nor are any disease-modifying therapies approved yet, there are therapeutic approaches that can help to ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Several experimental treatments are also currently in clinical trials that could prove beneficial for EDS patients. Check out the information below to explore more about therapeutic strategies your doctor may recommend and what therapies are in the pipeline for potential future use.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into the body at strategic points. In Eastern medicine, this is believed to change the flow of energy (chi) throughout the body to treat medical conditions. In Western medical practices, the use of acupuncture is thought to stimulate muscles, nerves, and connective tissues.
Physiotherapy is highly recommended for EDS patients to help them with everyday activities. Physiotherapy techniques can vary widely depending on the structural deformities and symptoms exhibited by EDS patients. In general, a multidirectional approach is used to overcome or decrease the patient’s disabilities.
Surgery is sometimes performed for EDS patients to fix joint problems or treat fractures. Patients may also undergo operations of the soft tissues, but these surgeries usually only offer short-term relief, because soft tissues will stretch again over time. Soft tissue and bone surgery can sometimes be combined. Because surgery runs the risk of complications, it is typically recommended as a last resort for EDS patients.
Apart from treatment options currently available to manage the symptoms of EDS, several experimental treatments are also in the pipeline. These include an investigational topical gel called Excellagen and a type of regenerative medicine called prolotherapy.