Rheumatological conditions – can cover auto-immune diseases affecting joints, muscles and skin.

  • JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) Children under the age of 16 can develop arthritis in one/multiple joints. A full medical work up is necessary to ensure definite diagnosis, however physiotherapy alongside appropriate medication is paramount in controlling disease progression and avoiding long term joint damage. Children may complain of persistent joint swelling, pain and loss of range of movement, fever/rash.
  • JDM (Juvenile Dermatomyositis) is a disease that primarily affects muscle and skin, but can also have features of joint involvement (as in JIA). There is a distinctive heliotrope (purple/mauve in colour) rash affecting the eyelids and swelling of face, hands (gottrons papules) and knees can be common. Along with this, there is characteristic muscle inflammation causing muscle weakness, and pain within joints and muscles.
  • Joint hypermobility Syndrome is a condition that involves joint laxity and is scored using the ‘Beighton scale’ with a score of 4 out of 9 (joints) being considered hypermobile. Its recognition within the paediatric population has increased over the years and the common musculoskeletal complaints associated with this can be pain, muscle weakness, fatigue.
  • Chronic pain syndromes can be considered an umbrella term for a multitude of pain behaviours, including pain amplification, complex regional pain and neuropathic pain. It is complex in nature and influenced by physical and psychological factors. Children with this presentation usually require a multidisciplinary management utilising physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychology services.