Title of the Article:
Balance, gait, falls, and fear of falling in women with the hypermobility type of Ehlers‐Danlos syndrome
Rombaut, L , Malfait, F., De Wandele, I. et al. Balance, gait, falls, and fear of falling in women with the hypermobility type of Ehlers‐Danlos syndrome. Arthritis Care and Research Volume63, Issue 10, 1432-1439 (2011)
Summary of Article:
This study looked at twenty-two women with hypermobility type Ehlers‐Danlos syndrome (for now on, EDS) and assessed their fall history, fear of falling, and actual balance level as compared to age-matched women without EDS – HT (hypermobility type).
The EDS‐HT subjects showed significantly impaired balance through their measurement testing. Walking speed and step length were smaller during all walking conditions and were impacted more when trying to do two things at once compared to the control group. Ninety‐five percent of the patients fell during the past year, and some fear of falling was measured.
What This Study Means For You:
EDS‐HT is associated with balance and walking issues, increased falls, and poorer balance confidence, which will affect the safety of standing in everyday life situations. Often, if your balance is decreased, it will affect the way that you walk. Additionally, improving one can, in turn, improve the other.
Limitations and Considerations of This Study:
There were only twenty-two participants with an age range of 18–55 years. Twenty-two participants are often considered to be a small sample size for a study.
Fifteen of the patients had used pain medication the day of testing and 11 of them had previous surgery performed on their leg. It is possible that these factors contributed to their balance measurements and important to take note of.
Look to assess and monitor your balance. If you find your balance is lacking, or you're avoiding activity because of a fear of falling, start on a program and improve your balance and walking mechanics to avoid falls and potential injury. Improving something before you need it is always better than trying to recover from a fall.