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Selma Blair recently shared an update on her health, revealing that her MS is in remission and how she manages living with chronic pain from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images
  • Actress Selma Blair recently spoke about her health via her Instagram account.
  • She stated that she is currently in remission from MS.
  • However, she does have pain from a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that affects how the body produces collagen.
  • The primary way to treat it is by making the surrounding muscles stronger.

On January 29, 2024, actress Selma Blair posted a video to her Instagram account updating her fans on the current state of her health.

In the video, Blair revealed that she is in remission from multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS is an autoimmune inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective covering of nerve cells leading to symptoms like pain, fatigue, and loss of muscle coordination.

However, while Blair said her MS is “fine,” she does experience daily pain from another condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS).

“I hurt all the time,” the Legally Blonde star declared.

“I say that only for you people that hurt also,” she continued. “Like, I get it.”

Blair went on to talk about how aging complicates matters because it “hurts” and “you have to stretch. But for me, it’s hard to stretch because the Ehlers-Danlos.”

Explaining how EDS affects her, she said, “So, the Ehlers-Danlos makes me really, really, really stiff because I’ll pull my muscles too easily, and then they’re like slack and sit there. So I get some injuries.”

However, the actress appeared to be keeping a positive attitude about her health, saying, “This is nothing that’s like horrible, scary stuff or anything. It’s just like one of those extra things that turns into a chronic thing, and you have to watch because people think stretching’s so good for you, and I’m technically not allowed to stretch because I’m always stretching.”

According to Dr. Jeremy Ousey, a musculoskeletal specialist podiatrist and owner of Keep On Your Feet in Swansea, United Kingdom, EDS is a connective tissue disorder.

“It causes issues with how collagen is formed in the body, and basically means that the bits that hold us together are more stretchy than they should be,” he explained.

Ousey said there are many types of EDS and sub-types within those types.

Dr. James Barsi, pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital in Stony Brook, New York, stated that Ehlers-Danlos syndrome typically causes increased skin looseness and joint hypermobility.

“Their joints are looser than they should be and are thought of as being ‘double-jointed,'” he said. “This is often associated with frequent joint dislocations and joint pain.”

To further explain what EDS is like, Ousey made an analogy that will be familiar to anyone who has shopped for furniture at an Ikea store.

“You know when you buy flatpack furniture, and it says, ‘Don’t do all the screws up tightly until you’ve put it all together,’ and then you do the screws up a bit but forget to tighten them before you lift the furniture off of the ground, and then it’s super wobbly?” he asked.

Unlike with a piece of furniture, we can’t tighten up the screws (make the ligaments less flexible), said Ousey.

Barsi further noted that the skin can also be affected, so it might show signs of looseness like stretch marks and poor wound healing.

“The more concerning symptoms involve increased fragility to the blood vessels,” he added. “This can lead to easy bruising, varicose veins, aneurysms, and spontaneous arterial rupture.”

While EDS is a genetic disorder, its causes are not yet understood. “EDS cannot be prevented from occurring and often goes undiagnosed for people,” stated Ousey.

He noted, however, that there is a potential for EDS to affect the vascular system, putting people at greater risk for rupturing blood vessels or having increased blood loss in the case of an emergency. This makes screening and proper diagnosis important.

“A genetics consult should be considered in patients with hypermobile joints, positive family history, or recurrent dislocations,” added Barsi.

“Treatment can be challenging but often involves a team approach and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints,” he said. Making the muscles stronger allows them to take up some of the supportive functions that the ligaments would normally provide.

“Participation in support groups such as the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation can help with the psychosocial issues around care,” Barsi concluded.

Actress Selma Blair, who has previously spoken of living with MS, has revealed via her Instagram account that she is also living with the pain of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetically based connective tissue disorder.

People with this condition can experience symptoms like loose skin and joint hypermobility.

Experts say treatment for EDS involves strengthening the surrounding muscles so they can take up some of the work that would normally be done by the ligaments.

If you have hypermobile joints or a history of EDS in your family or you experience recurrent dislocations, it is a good idea to obtain a genetics consult.

Getting a diagnosis is especially important because EDS can potentially affect the vascular system leading to a greater risk of rupturing blood vessels or having increased blood loss.