Children's Rheumatology

Expert Care for Children’s Rheumatologic Diseases

Our rheumatology services go beyond children’s arthritis to treat all rheumatologic disorders. We help treat and manage diseases that attack your child’s joints, muscles and ligaments. If your child needs help from a joint care specialist, see Sanford Children’s Rheumatology for compassionate, expert care.

We treat children and young adults with joint conditions. You and your child will work with primary care providers, rheumatologists, nurses and more. A comprehensive care team will work to manage your child’s condition.

For physicians: Refer a patient to Sanford Health.


Living with Rheumatologic Diseases

Children diagnosed with a rheumatologic disorder do not have to live a limited lifestyle. With help from specialists and family, these children can enjoy an active life. Some activities can also ease symptoms.

Children living with arthritis or other conditions can try:

  • Eating a variety of healthy foods to make sure they are getting all the important nutrients they need.
  • Fitness exercises like walking, water exercise or biking to improve their cardiovascular health and keep their muscles and joints flexible.
  • Getting adequate sleep to give joints time to rest.
  • Range-of-motion exercises that move joints in certain directions to improve flexibility and decrease stiffness.
  • Prioritizing relaxation to minimize a child’s stress and symptoms.
  • Strengthening exercises to strengthen the muscles around joints and help keep joints flexible.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce pressure on weight-bearing joints.

Always talk to your child’s pediatrician before starting an exercise routine for your child.


Common Childhood Rheumatologic Diseases

Our specialists can treat and manage these conditions and more in children:

Fibromyalgia: Chronic (ongoing) pain in the muscles and soft tissue all around the body. 

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: A form of arthritis that causes joint swelling, inflammation and stiffness in children for at least six weeks.

Lupus: A disease that causes your child’s immune system to target its own tissues, causing pain and inflammation.

Psoriatic arthritis: A rare type of arthritis that attacks both the joints and skin. It causes joint pain and swelling and a red, scaly and itchy rash. Early intervention can force the disease into remission, but delayed treatment may lead to disabilities.

Septic arthritis: Septic arthritis is an infection of the joint (both in the joint fluid and tissues). It is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi and requires fast treatment to prevent permanent joint damage.

We also treat:

  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP)
  • Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis (JAS)
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM)
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Scleroderma

Your child’s rheumatologist works closely with pain management physicians and other specialists to help manage joint conditions and improve the patient’s quality of life. 

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