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JRPMS Vol 1, No 1, September 2017, p.14-18

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-01-014


Review Article

Physiotherapy in Juvenile Dermatomyositis

Theodora Polychronopoulou

  • Physiotherapist, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Exercise, Children, Juvenile dermatomyositis, treatment, Physiotherapy


Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a relatively rare, multi-systemic autoimmune disease, which combines inflammatory myopathy, characteristic cutaneous findings and symptoms of other organ systems. In JDM the basic characteristic is the skin and muscle vasculitis, although the first sign of JDM is usually a skin rash in a V-shaped pattern that may be red and patchy, with typically red or purplish color on the eyelids (“heliotrope” rash), cheeks, or both. The medications used for the relief of symptoms of dermatomyositis are corticosteroids, cyclosporine, intravenous immunoglobulin, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and biological agents. Evidence shows that children with low-activity dermatomyositis should be able to safely perform aerobic exercise and resistance- based exercise regimes to reduce disease activity and improve circulation in the resting phase, but also during exercise. Until now, both pharmaceutical therapy and physiotherapy have been proven the best way to treat the disease so that patients achieve complete remission without disease-related complications or any use of steroids.