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Spectrum disorder or progressive condition?

This week's question

Is hypermobile type Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or hypermobility spectrum disorder a progressive condition?

My answer - The answer to this might surprise you. HEDS/HSD are not progressive conditions on their own. However, there are 2 factors that can make them 'worse over time"

The first of these is accumulative injuries/damage. A progressive condition is one where the severity of symptoms increases over time. This is not the case with HSD/EDS. However, both of these conditions can lead to frequent injuries, and an accumulation of injuries over time in the same areas can lead to worsening symptoms.

This brings up another important point, for many, the pain associated with EDS/HSD is typically not chronic pain in the true sense, but rather a (sometimes continuous) period of accumulative acute injuries/pain. Therefore, multiple injuries to the same area over time can make the pain and symptoms worse in that area, but it is not necessarily a progression of the disorder.

The second way symptoms can get worse over time is with a specific trigger. Often times these triggers would create some pain for someone with or without one of these disorders, but when you add it on top of the disorder, it can really amplify symptoms.

Take child birth for example. The hormones involved in the pregnancy and the birth, the physical requirements associated with this as well as the physical requirements and sometimes decreased self care time that come with having a child can create physical problems for anyone. Take all of these conditions and lay them on top of an unstable body which requires constant maintenance, and you have a recipe for an (seemingly abrupt) increase in symptoms. However, with the right care plan this increase in symptoms can be avoided or at least minimized.

Do you have HSD or EDS and feel as though your symptoms are getting worse? Send us an email at

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