Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

View All Arthritis Types Ehlers-Danlos syndrome  is a group of hereditary disorders that mainly affect the skin and joints, but may also affect other organs. The disorder affects the connective tissues that support such parts of the body as the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. People with EDS disorders tend to have loose joints, skin that stretches easily, and a tendency to bruise.
 View All Arthritis Types
How common is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is rare, affecting less than one in 10,000 people. It affects both men and women equally, and occurs among people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
What are the warning signs of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
What causes Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Protect your joints
Be kind to your body. After doing heavy work, or doing the same task over and over, stop. Slow down by doing an easy task, or by taking a rest.

Use your back, arms and legs in safe ways to avoid stress on joints. For example, carry a heavy load close to your body.

Use helpful tools in your daily tasks such as a cart to carry your grocery bags, or an enlarged handle that fits over a knife handle so you can hold it easily. A cane will help you to walk more safely. A grab bar, which attaches to a shower, will help you to get in and out of the tub more easily.

Protecting your joints means using your joints in ways that avoid causing excessive stress on them. Benefits include less pain and greater ease in doing tasks. Three ways you can protect your joints are by pacing, positioning and using assistive devices.

Pacing, by alternating heavy or repeated tasks with easier tasks or breaks, reduces the stress on your joints and allows weakened muscles to rest.

Positioning joints wisely helps you use them in ways that avoid extra stress. For example, use larger, stronger joints to carry loads (for example, use your arms and not your fingers to carry grocery bags) and change your position frequently.

Using assistive devices, such as canes, raised chairs, and gripping and reaching aids can help simplify daily tasks. For bathing, grab-bars and shower seats can be very helpful for conserving energy and avoiding falls
Eye treatments
Vitamin C
Sun exposure
Arthritis medications are designed to control a disease, slow its progression, and to help manage pain. There is a wide range of options – with new ones coming on the horizon – so understanding all possible treatments is not easy. 

These medications can be very complex, so you are encouraged to ask for in-depth explanations from your health care team – including pharmacists, who are an excellent source of information. 

To explore this area of treatment, The Arthritis Society has developed a comprehensive expert guide that delivers detailed information on medications used to treat arthritis.

Explore the Arthritis Medications A Reference Guide

The optimal treatment is what is best in each individual case – so speak with your doctor and/or pharmacist about what kind of medications are most appropriate for you.

Educational Programs 

The Arthritis Society provides a range of in-person workshops and online programs, all with a specific focus in mind. They include chronic pain management, overcoming fatigue, understanding your health-care team, symptom checkers, and more. Participants learn new information and skills, and for in-person workshops, can share ideas and experiences with others.

Explore arthritis workshops and courses


Discover information you can trust, because it’s based on evidence and vetted by experts, in The Society’s resource area. Learn about each disease, possible treatments, self-management, lifestyle issues, and so much more.

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Online Arthritis Self Management Courses

Online education programs that are informative, convenient and FREE.

Arthritis Community
Arthritis Community

Connect with others, share your arthritis experience and get answers in a safe online space.

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Arthritis Publications

Evidence-based content to help you learn about the disease, treatments and self-management.