A BOY with a rare condition that affects connective tissue is back out and active again thanks to new specialist leggings.

Nine-year-old Alex Etherington, from Stanley in County Durham, loves being active. Alex is now learning to fence, enjoys riding his bike and, like most boys of his age, has fun running around.

Such achievements are remarkable for someone who was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) after falling at a nursery when he was just three years old, and going to Accident & Emergency with a suspected broken leg.

Alex’s mother Jacqui Etherington said: “It wasn’t a fracture, but the consultant realised something wasn’t right.

“We were really lucky that EDS was identified so early because it can take years – especially, as in our case, when it isn’t genetic.”

May is EDS awareness month. Often, but not always inherited, EDS a condition that affects connective tissues – causing a range of symptoms including joint hypermobility, easily dislocated joints, extreme tiredness, digestive problems, dizziness and skin that bruises easily.

Mrs Etherington added: “Alex suffered gastral reflux and he often got black marks on his body.

“I’d taken him to our GP many times, but it was the fall at nursery that really got the ball rolling in terms of getting the help he needed.”

As a clinical lead physiotherapist, Mrs Etherington knew about DM Orthotics from her work with adults with learning disabilities.

She added: “We went to see Pam Cowans, one of the company’s specialists, who prescribed DMO® Leggings.

"The difference was amazing. Before he started wearing them, Alex would cry out with intense pain during the night and easily lose his balance.

“After they were fitted, he was transformed into a child who was praised for his beautiful posture at school and who no longer keeps falling.

“Now, he’s got so much confidence and very little fear.

“He’s been able to play football and even rugby at school, climb, jump and is developing good bat and ball skills. It’s wonderful to see him taking everything in his stride and not being afraid to try different activities."

Six years on and Alex’s leggings are now black to look like skins, and designed to improve lower limb function and body position whilst increasing core and pelvic stability. They have become indispensable in helping Alex lead a normal life.