Young woman dislocates up to 17 times per day – even making a cuppa can cause joints to pop out
A young woman has been left unable to make a cup of tea after a rare condition causes her joints to dislocate up to 17 times a day.
Lauren Balmain-Davies, 27, suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – a rare condition that weakens the tissues that holds joints in place – and has caused her to dislocate her joints tens of thousands of times since being a toddler.
The financial accountant from South Shields, Newcastle, has dislocated nearly every joint in her body, from her knees and hips to her shoulders and elbows, even popping a rib when sneezing, which leaves her in excruciating pain.
The life-limiting condition means that Lauren struggles with everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea and carrying her own shopping.
But after battling with the condition for more than two decades, Lauren was so determined to get her life back on track she desperately searched for help.
She has now teamed up with ex-soldier Adam Foster – who is helping her strengthen her muscles around her joints to stop them from dislocating as often – and has thanked him for saving her life.
Lauren said: “When I was having a bad day I could dislocate up to 17 times per day.
“Some days are worse than others and it’s so painful that I often end up in A&E.
“When I was 18 I started to wear high heels, but every time I tried to walk in them my ankle and knees would dislocate.
“It’s just so frustrating, your body doesn’t work the way you want it too.
“I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea without thinking I was going to dislocate my wrist – I even had to buy myself a kettle that you don’t have to lift.
“I am so grateful for Adam, his training programme has helped me strengthen my joints – it’s amazing – I can now go surfing and no longer have to strap all my joints with tape to try and prevent them from popping out.
“I am finally able to live my life without the fear of dislocating every time I make a drink or lift my handbag!”
After years without a diagnosis, finally at the age of 18, Lauren was diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).
EDS is a condition that causes joints to move and dislocate easily – the condition is genetic and both her mother and grandmother have it.
She added: “For years I suffered with excruciating pain, some days I couldn’t even make it out of bed.
“I have a specially adapted chair that I use to cook or iron as I can’t stand in that position for too long, it’s just too painful.
“Doctors used to tell me it was growing pains but I just didn’t believe them.
“It took so long for me to receive my diagnosis, there just isn’t enough information or awareness about the condition.
“And what people don’t realise is that there are so many other medical conditions linked to EDS – I have terrible memory loss which affects me most days.”
In October 2014, Lauren dislocated her hip and was forced to undergo an operation due to her bones rubbing together caused from years of dislocations.
After spending years in pain, Lauren was so determined to get her life back on track she desperately sought help.
She now regularly works out with ‘Fibro Guy’ Adam Foster and by week nine of his training regime she could work out in the gym without dislocating any joints.
Lauren said: “The results have been life changing – I barely dislocate at all now.
“I was always exhausted due to fatigue too, but I have so much more energy now.
“I have worked really hard to get where I am and I have been lucky enough to work with Adam who has the knowledge that I don’t.
“After six weeks of being with Adam I was surfing in Portugal, I couldn’t believe it.
“I have since been surfing in Morocco and I have booked to go surfing again in August!
“I still have flare ups occasionally, for example the other day I walked into the washing machine door and my knee just popped out of place.
“But overall my condition is getting so much better – I can now get up and go to work like a normal person would.
“I have finally found a solution that works and I want to share this with others suffering with EDS – I want to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and help is out there.”
Mya Choudry, EDS-UK health and helpline advisor said: “EDS can vary on a spectrum between mild to severe, ranging from just being hypermobile to constantly dislocating and having extreme difficulty in terms of mobility, leaving the person very debilitated.
“EDS-UK is the only charity in the UK supporting this condition, we offer varying forms of support via social media, medical information, a free helpline service and local support groups all across the UK.
“EDS-UK strives hard to promote awareness of the condition within the public and medical community, and provides support to members to help get the services they need.”