Physiotherapy and JIA

Physiotherapy is used to treat the effects of JIA. It can relieve symptoms such as pain, weakness, limited range of motion, or reduced physical ability. Physiotherapy should play an important role in your treatment plan.

When you participate in routine exercises, you will:

• have less joint tightness

• your muscles will get stronger

• your fitness level will improve.

What does a physiotherapist do?

Physiotherapists can provide you with helpful strategies to manage JIA. A physiotherapist will:

• assess and monitor JIA

• show you how to improve your physical abilities and fitness levels

• help to decrease your pain and stiffness

• improve your flexibility and movement

• provide you with information about JIA.

Types of physiotherapy

A physiotherapist will usually give you a set of specific exercises to help manage your pain. These may involve the use of equipment such as weights, therapy balls or a treadmill.

Physiotherapy may also involve helping you to select or make adaptations to sports and other physical activities. This will help to improve your level of fitness and your ability to perform different activities.

Other examples of physical therapies include heat, ice and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). You learned about some of these strategies in “Physical methods to treat pain”.


Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.

JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.

Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.

Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.

There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.

When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.

Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.

Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.

Whether you have JIA or not, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Find out how to stay healthy and active, learn about puberty and relationships, healthy body image, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Sometime between the ages of 18 to 22, you most likely will transition from your pediatric rheumatologist to the adult health care setting. At that time, there are a number of things you, your family, and your health-care team can do to help make this change go smoothly.