Ehlers Danlos Syndromes is a group of connective tissue disorders that present varied symptoms. This hereditary disease affects the tissues, skin, joints and blood vessels causing symptoms like pain, immobility and sleep disorders. Inflammation, nerve pain, skin problems, headaches and muscle aches are also common in Ehlers Danlos Syndromes. All these symptoms can greatly impact the patient’s quality of life. Today, we will study some natural remedies for treating Ehlers Danlos Syndromes at home.
1. Proprioception exercises
Exercises are known to improve joint hyper-mobility in EDS patients. Perform one or more of the following to increase flexibility and reduce pain:
- Sit on exercise ball
- Walk or tread in water
- Stand up on paddle board
- Stand on one leg
Avoid certain exercises like gymnastics, ballet and yoga unless they are modified. Pilates is a good option for some patients as well as Tai Chi and QiGong. Make sure you protect your joints at all times and especially when working out. It is important to make exercise fun so that you forget you are exercising.
2. Use compression garments
Compression garments stop pain and improve mobility of joints. They also provide ergogenic benefits and increase endurance. EDS patients are often prone to injuries and compression garments can prevent muscle damage. Other benefits of using compression garments are decreased muscle soreness, increased range of motion and reduced swelling. In case of breathing difficulties, compression shirts can help greatly.
3. Supplements and vitamins for Ehlers Danlos syndrome
Ehlers Danlos syndrome collagen supplements help build elasticity and prevent skin issues in patients. Of particular benefit are supplements and vitamins like Vitamin C, E and Vitamin A. Aloe Vera extracts are also beneficial. MSM, gelatin and hyaluronic acid can also benefit loss of skin elasticity on the face and neck.
4. Prolozone™ therapy
This is a novel natural therapy for preventing joint pain in EDS patients. Prolozone™ therapy combines neural therapy with ozone therapy. Doctors inject anti-inflammatory injections, procaine and several vitamins along with ozone or oxygen gas in the inured/aching joints. This regenerates damaged tissue and reduces pain.
5. Drink more water
Patients with EDS have greater need for fluids, in particular, isotonic fluid intake, in order to balance electrolytes.
6. Ehlers Danlos syndrome diet considerations
While you cannot just eat your way out of EDS, following a protein rich diet can help patients. Get your daily intake of protein from milk, fish, eggs and soy. For ehlers danlos vegan diet, go for Cajun red beans to get requisite protein.
7. Kinesio® Taping
Taping method helps reduce TMJ pain, neck pain and headaches in EDS patients. Read more about it here.
8. Maintain good posture, grip etc
Maintaining proper posture is necessary to prevent neck pain and headaches. Avoid head forward and poking chin posture as it can lead to blurry vision and pain in jaws. It also weakens muscles in the neck. To maintain posture:
- Place index finger in front of chin and push back neck till ears are in line with the shoulders
- Use a large monitor if you work at the computer all day
- Hold the pen properly
- Use compression finger gloves when gripping a pen.
9. Pay attention to feet and ankles
Feet and ankles can also suffer in this syndrome. Following natural treatment options could help
- Barefoot walking
- Repeated rising on toe tips strengthens the muscles in feet
- Ankle raises
Also, always descend in slow, controlled manner and wear proper footwear or custom made orthotics at all times.
10. Use weighted blankets while sleeping
Image: Magic Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are known to help EDS patients with sleep issues. These therapeutic blankets or quilts are made with cotton and flannel and filled with special weights like glass beads or polyester pellets. These add weight to the blanket. Sleeping under the therapeutic blanket gives a feeling of warmth or compression which is akin to ‘being hugged’. Weighted blankets help EDS patients sleep better by preventing aches and pains and also by stimulating melatonin and serotonin hormones that aid sleep.
Living with Ehlers Danlos syndrome can be difficult but we hope these tips can help adults as well as children with this condition.