Chronic Pain: Scleroderma & The Role Of Medical Exercise Therapy

June is Scleroderma Awareness Month Scleroderma Chronic Pain

Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition that is characterized by the first symptoms of thickening of the skin associated with tissue fibrosis and may chronic inflammation of various organs. It is more common in women and is seen between the ages of 30-50 years of age.

While skin changes are the most prominent feature, the consequences of this include reduced joint mobility and overall movement. In addition, some individuals may  experience Raynaud’s phenomenon, which can result in painful hands and feet and in some cases.

Medical and surgical therapies are the mainstay of managing people with scleroderma.  However, medical exercise therapy is a useful modality of enabling those individuals to recover their function and mobility that is compromised with scleroderma.

Role Of Medical Exercise Therapies

Medical Exercise Specialists are trained personnel that can safely help people with scleroderma to help in the relaxation of muscles and reducing joint stiffness.

Types of Therapies Offered

Here at the Other Pain Clinic Inc™  I can offer the following therapies to help someone with scleroderma:


Gentle stretching of the joints and the skin helps maintain joint mobility, reduces joint stiffness and enables a person to maintain a great degree of functionality in the hands. In fact, there are groups that advocate immediate medical exercise therapy following a diagnosis to ensure the risk of shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, and other tissue  is reduced.1

Manual Lymphatic Drainage – MLD Chronic Pain Scleroderma Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Because the tissue beneath the skin may have small edemas, become fibrous, may have less circulation the skin may become less elastic and thicker, thus reducing joint mobility research has shown the benefit of using MLD to reduce edema and improve functionality of the hands, and quality of life (Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Aug;63(8):1134-41)

Kinesio Tape Application For Tissue Fibrosis Chronic Pain Scleroderma Kinesiotape

A new therapy tool for Scleroderma is kineisotape. Research has shown positive changes in the volume of peripheral blood flow by using Kineiso Taping as it helps to improve circulation.


If you have any questions, send me an email.

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