There are thirteen subtypes of EDS, with the most common being Hypermobile EDS (hEDS). With each subtype of EDS, the body has difficulty producing or using collagen effectively. Collagen is a vital protein found in ligaments, muscles, tendons, and blood vessels.
Hypermobile EDS is the most common subtype of EDS and is the type of EDS we see most commonly in physical therapy. Patients with hEDS suffer from joint instability, chronic joint dislocations and subluxations, and painful and debilitating muscle spasms. hEDS also affects the skin, making it highly extensible and fragile.
Another clinical manifestation of hEDS is chronic pain, often due from repeated joint trauma and muscle spasms. The pain can be debilitating and involve multiple joints at once. hEDS affects many body systems — not just muscles and soft tissue. Those with EDS often suffer from autonomic dysfunction, skin fragility, chronic fatigue, and gastrointestinal disorders. Pelvic dysfunction and gynecological issues are also common.