Posted 11 February 2008 - 03:23 PM
You'd really need to check with your doctors regarding what's causing the widespread pain. But it would typically be from fibromyalgia and not scleroderma, as very generally speaking, fibromyalgia is much more painful and widespread than scleroderma.
Look for fibromyalgia remedies instead. I've found medications to be totally useless for fibromyalgia. I'd have to be comatose before the meds made a difference, and that's no way to go about life either! Some of the things that work for me include dealing with sleep disorders, in fact that makes the biggest difference of all. If I have just one night of impaired sleep it can set fibromyalgia into full gear.
Warm showers, warm baths, gentle stretching, mild walking, and floating in warm pools are helpful for me so I try to do them on a preventive basis. Moist heat packs when all that fails. But most of all, tuning it out by total immersion in work or hobbies. The brain can only handle one thought at a time, so getting very engrossed in activity (NOT passive things like watching TV, which in my experience just worsens the "interesting healing sensations".) Which is another point -- relabeling the pain...don't call it that in your brain, instead find other words for it, such as healing sensations.
Simply using the word "pain" wires the brain into all other painful experiences in our life (both mental and physical) and thus exacerbates it. So try to find new words for it, like, amazing sensation from left elbow which is getting milder all the time.
Even projects you don't feel up to and don't want to do can help, such as cleaning out a closet or at least two feet of a shelf in a closet (don't overwhelm yourself with it.) It forces the brain to focus on something other than the sometimes massive healing sensations, and the movement provides a gentle stretching and the sense of accomplishment can't be beat for uplifting self-esteem.
Singing along to beautiful music is another trick that can't be beat. Pick something lively and upbeat. It gets the endorphins going, and endorphins are our bodies natural pain relievers -- better than ANY pills they can give us. So think in terms of stimulating endorphins naturally through music, laughter, activity, tossing a tea party, making a silly drawing, writing an absurdly awful poem. Inviting a neighbor over for scrabble. Even tending to a cherished pet can help raise endorphins.
Let us know how you manage to deal with this and what things work for you.