Effects of the myofascial release in diffuse systemic sclerosis

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2009 Oct;13(4):320-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2008.04.042. Epub 2008 Jun 17.


Objective: To improve breathing and functionality of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and hands, by increasing the range of motion (ROM), and to reduce the level of pain.

Method: Twenty myofascial release (MR) sessions in 2002 with assessments (chest expansion, mouth opening, ROM of wrist and fingers). Between the 19th and the 20th session there was a break of 110 days. Every winter, 1-3 sessions have been made.

Results: Chest: expansion increased by 3.5 cm and pain was eliminated at the scar from a biopsy; TMJ: an 8mm increase in mouth opening with pain eliminated; hands and fingers: increase of ROM in all joints of fingers and wrists, of up to 100%, reduction in ulcerations and recovery of nail growth.

Conclusion: The connective tissue affected by diffuse systemic sclerosis (dSSc) is subject to remodeling through MR, receding when the work is interrupted. Resuming the treatment on a regular basis increased the ROM in joints, reduced the effects of the Raynaud Phenomenon and the pain.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Finger Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / etiology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Raynaud Disease / physiopathology
  • Raynaud Disease / therapy
  • Respiratory Mechanics
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / therapy*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiology
  • Wrist Joint / physiology