Rehabilitation for Juvenile Arthritis

At Hassenfeld Children's Hospital of New York at NYU Langone, rehabilitation specialists, also known as physiatrists, often recommend physical and occupational therapy in combination with medication for children and adolescents with juvenile arthritis, a group of conditions that causes inflammation in joints and other parts of the body.

Physical therapists offer exercises to improve your child’s range of motion, muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination. They may also recommend using heat or cold to reduce inflammation around the joints. When performed regularly, physical and occupational therapy can help to reduce inflammation and restore joint mobility. These therapies can also make it easier for your child to perform everyday activities, such as getting dressed, bathing, eating, and moving around.

Occupational therapists focus on improving hand function, so that your child can more easily grasp and manipulate objects, such as shoelaces and buttons. Our therapists may demonstrate exercises and activities that your child can perform at home on a regular basis. 

Occupational and physical therapists may recommend splints and other positioning devices to stretch muscles and tendons that have become tightened because of joint inflammation. They may also suggest the use of assistive devices, such as customized orthotic inserts for shoes, that can reduce foot or leg pain while walking.

When coordinating your child's rehabilitation needs, our physiatrists access the many resources at the inpatient and outpatient facilities of NYU Langone's Rusk Rehabilitation. Physical and occupational therapists at Rusk Rehabilitation can develop an individualized therapy plan that addresses your child’s main symptoms and functional challenges.

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