Recently, pop singer Sia shared some personal information about chronic pain that she suffers from, caused by a rare disorder affecting only one in 5,000 people around the world.
“Hey, I’m suffering with chronic pain, a neurological disease, ehlers danlos and I just wanted to say to those of you suffering from pain, whether physical or emotional, I love you, keep going,” she tweeted. “Pain is demoralizing, and you’re not alone.”
According to the National Institute of Health’s Library of Medicine, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a genetic syndrome involving a group of disorders. It can affect the skin, bones, joints, blood vessels, as well as other organs and tissues.
People with this rare syndrome tend to have flexible joints and fragile skin that bruises and scars quite easily. There are 13 types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and those with the “classical” form can suffer from wounds that grow in width over time.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, said that the singer going public with her condition is helpful to others. “The important thing is that it brings attention to two health conditions that affect a lot of people — and this really helps them socially and emotionally,” she said.
Ashton added that finding relief from chronic pain is all about figuring out what works best for each individual patient. Acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, and hypnosis can all be useful at managing pain.