We have assessed (EDS) Ehlers Danlos and Hypermobility Syndrome in the workplace for many years, and are often asked for recommendations to help Individuals return to work safely and comfortably.
A genetic disease that affects the connective tissues, Ehlers Danlos is often identified by symptoms such as repeated joint dislocations, hyperplastic skin, chronic pain, scoliosis and early onset osteoarthritis. Although EDS is measured on a sliding scale of severity, it is thought that 1 in 5000 people are currently suffering with the syndrome worldwide.
Some reported cases of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome are milder than others, but in many cases EDS can lead to limited mobility due to weak joints – some cases of EDS are life threatening as it can affect the internal organs including the vascular and digestive system.
Currently there is no known cure for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, so all treatment is supportive. Dependent on the severity of the case, treatments usually include, but are not exclusive to:
• Gentle low impact exercises (such as swimming and Pilates)
• Specialist workstation assessments
In addition to this, counselling and therapy is also often recommended to help the individual cope with the emotional aspect of their diagnosis.
When we come in to help people in the workplace, we advise the user on how to work safely, sit correctly and carry out their daily tasks in comfort. We also recommend products that can make a real difference.
These are some of the most successful products we have found so far in helping to assist individuals who have Ehlers Danlos or Hypermobility.
1 . Axia
We have found the Axia series to be the most successful ergonomic office chair for Ehlers Danlos and hypermobility. Working on the principle of pelvic support to correctly align the spine, the Axia is highly durable, supportive and adjustable to ease pain associated with Ehlers Danlos and provide an ergonomic working position.
2. Laptop stands
To prevent laptop users from dropping the neck to look at the screen, we always recommend a separate laptop stand and keyboard. Using a laptop on your lap, or even at the desk can lead to a multitude of musculoskeletal issues – most commonly neck and shoulder strain. When used with a separate keyboard, it means that you can achieve the correct screen height and distance. The Neoflex is particularly good at raising Mac and Windows laptops to the correct eye height, keeping the neck in a neutral posistion.
Download our working with a laptop guide here!
The Ergorest provides a wide range of movement so that you can comfortably move your mouse or type, but restricts you from overreaching for your keyboard or mouse. This is beneficial as overreaching is a common workplace habit that contributes to shoulder pain. It also takes all the weights out of the shoulder joint, and helps to reduce pain.
We wouldn’t recommend using the Ergorest on a curved desk, but it must be said that this solution works well with rectangular desks. For an optimum ergonomic set up, we would recommend using one for each arm to ensure balanced support.
4. Rollermouse Free3 & Balance keyboard
A favourite amongst the Posture People team the Rollermouse Free3 prevents excessive movement of the arm and shoulder associated with traditional mouse work. Importantly for Ehlers Danlos sufferers, it stops over rotation of the shoulders and elbow joints, which can minimise dislocations.
The tension adjustable click and roller bar, enable the user to use this mouse with both hands and scroll with very little movement. When used with the compatible balance keyboard, the Rollermouse Free3 keeps the hands in a comfortable, neutral position with a supportive palm rest.
If you need advice on coping with Ehlers Danlos, or would like to know more about our specialist DSE assessment services please contact us directly below.