The Center for Healing Neurology offers an integrative approach to Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) and hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD). We can help you address the contributing factors of inflammation and immune dysregulation that exacerbate connective tissue disorders, including:
- Diet and intestinal permeability
- Environmental toxins
- Chronic infections
- Blood sugar dysregulation and metabolic disorders
- Structural misalignment and nerve inflammation
- Hormone and neurotransmitter imbalance
- Psychological stressors
Our clinic offers targeted therapies for holistic balance and to alleviate chronic pain, as well as preventative medicine.
Understanding EDS and HSD
Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of genetic or inherited connective tissue disorders that manifest as joint hypermobility, chronic widespread pain, recurrent joint dislocations, skin hyperextensibility, and tissue fragility such as easy scarring or bruising. There are 13 types of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes that can be diagnosed based on meeting specific criteria.
Hypermobility spectrum disorders also involve joint hypermobility, but do not meet the criteria for EDS. HDS types include:
- Generalized Hypermobile Spectrum disorder (gHSD): Positive Beighton score positive, joint pain, muscle pain, dislocations/subluxations, frequent sprains, and balance problems.
- Peripheral Hypermobile Spectrum disorder (pHSD): Hypermobility of hands and feet, frequent sprains/dislocations of distal joints, and balance problems.
- Localized Hypermobile Spectrum disorder (lHSD): Hypermobility of a single or group of joints that were or are under chronic strain such as dancing.
Evaluation and diagnosis
Diagnosis is important for appropriate management. Evaluation includes:
- Thorough physical exam including the Beighton assessment
- Past medical history including whole-body manifestations of connective tissue disorders such as mitral valve prolapse, bilateral papules of heel, atrophic scarring, dental crowding, and abdominal herniation’s.
- Family medical history of first degree relatives
- Genetic testing: There is genetic testing for 12 of the 13 identified Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. At this time, there is not a genetic marker for hypermobile EDS, but it is important to rule out other types of EDS that can be more fatal and ensure an accurate diagnosis.
- Exclusion of other heritable or acquired connective tissue disorders. Exclusion should be made for other causes of symptoms such as inflammatory, infections or autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
EDS and HSD often occur alongside six other inflammatory conditions:
- Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)
- Dysautonomia (including POTS)
- Gastroparesis or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Chronic infections (including Lyme disease and mold toxicity)
- Craniocervical instability (CCI) or tethered cord (TC)
At the Center for Healing Neurology, we offer comprehensive evaluations, including autonomic testing right in our office, to optimize treatments and identify root causes. We understand these conditions require personalized care. We are here to listen, educate, collaborate, and guide you towards healing.
Treatment is always personalized for you, with your concerns and priorities, within the context of your life, lifestyle, and environment. Treatments may include customized recommendations for diet, movement, sleep, mindfulness and breath work, meditation, hypnotherapy/ EMDR/ other mental health therapeutic techniques, pharmaceuticals, compounded medications, supplements, herbal products, Ayurvedic treatments, and referrals. In clinic, Dr. Carley Squires offers joint-stabilizing regenerative medicine, such as prolotherapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy. Via telemedicine, we can help determine the root causes that are contributing to increased inflammation that are exacerbating genetic predispositions of connective tissue dysfunction.
Treatment is always a work-in-progress with the goal being your increased physical functioning and mental peace. We understand that the treatments that bring balance now may need to change as you change across the days, weeks, months, seasons, years and ages of your life. Our goal is always to help you listen to the needs of your body and mind, and build your toolbox for attending to them so you can best stay in balance across the evolving landscape of your life. We are here to help teach you how to heal yourself.
Hypermobility & Podcast for Healing Neurology
In Episode 33, Dr. Gillian Ehrlich interviews Jeannie Di Bon, movement therapist & hypermobility expert.