As we’ve seen several times on this blog over the last few months, scoliosis is not just a condition in its own right but also – in some cases – a symptom of other conditions. 80% of scoliosis sufferers have idiopathic scoliosis, meaning that there is no known cause, but for many others, scoliosis is part of a larger disorder that potentially comes with all kinds of other symptoms as well.
For Louise, a young acrobat from Jersey, that larger disorder is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (or EDS for short).
Scoliosis patient with EDS

What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

There are multiple different types of EDS, but all of them affect the body’s connective tissues. Typical symptoms include:
  • Very stretchy skin
  • Joint hypermobility (also known as being ‘double-jointed’)
  • Fragile skin that breaks/bruises easily
This is because EDS sufferers have a genetic abnormality that affects their collagen, the protein that serves as the main component in all connective bodily tissues (some refer to collagen as the ‘glue’ that holds the body together).
In addition to the above symptoms, many EDS patients also suffer from:
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Dysautonomia (problems with the nerves that carry information to the heart, bladder, intestines, sweat glands, pupils and blood vessels)
  • Curvature of the spine
However, symptoms vary considerably depending on which type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome you have.

Louise’s story

Louise came to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to receive treatment for a sideways curve in her spine. Spinal curvature is a common problem for people who suffer from a form of EDS called kyphoscoliotic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (also known as EDS type VI).
Circus acrobat Louise understood that she needed treatment for her scoliosis, but she also knew that traditional scoliosis treatment methods (spinal fusion surgery or back bracing) could seriously affect her flexibility and thus her ability to perform.
Acrobat with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
In the end, she travelled from Jersey to London with her mother in order to complete a 4-week ScolioGold course. We’ll let Louise and her mum tell you the rest of the story:
If you suffer from curvature of the spine (whether as the result of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or something else), we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may be able to help you. Please contact us today to arrange an initial consultation, or give us a call on 0207 488 4428 to speak with a member of staff.

Learn about some of the other conditions that can result in a curved spine: