Is Being Flexible Always a Good Thing?

In most situations, being flexible is a positive thing. After all, life is easier if you were, say, picking out a place for dinner and were flexible about the type of cuisine. However, too much flexibility leaves you in an endless loop of “I don’t care, you pick.” The same goes for your body. One could argue that having limber muscles and joints is a benefit, particularly to athletes. But for those with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, too much flexibility is a very bad thing.


EDS (Ehler-Danlos syndrome) is a condition where the connective tissue in the body is weak, making it overly stretchy. This not only affects joints and muscles but also the tissues that make up your blood vessels and skin. Complications of EDS include:


  • Early osteoarthritis
  • Joint dislocations
  • Aortic dissection (a life-threatening rupture of the aorta)
  • Abnormal scar formation


With 26 bones and around 30 joints, the feet are assuredly affected by EDS. Our feet need both rigidity and flexibility and they use each during different parts of the walking or running stride. Those with EDS lack the rigidity for a good push off. They are also at risk for flatfeet, increased callus formation, and muscle contractures such as claw toes. 


The good news is, there are a variety of leg, ankle, and foot treatment options for those living with EDS. Many with EDS will need a functional orthotic to help control the increased mobility.  Sometimes, a brace is necessary that addresses the foot, ankle, and lower leg.


When we surgically address a joint issue, such as a bunion or hammertoe, we take special consideration for those with EDS, as the procedure options are different due to increased joint mobility. At the FAAWC, we are often the first to recognize this condition in patients and make the necessary referral for body-wide concerns.


Being flexible is a good thing…but don’t get caught in the “I don’t care” loop when dealing with your foot and ankle concerns. Call the FAAWC today to schedule your appointment. 740.363.4373

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