Rheumatic disease includes conditions such as arthritis that cause pain, stiffness and swelling in joints or other supportive body structures such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. If your child complains of pain in the joints, muscles or bones, or has other symptoms of arthritis or an autoimmune disorder, a pediatric rheumatologist is uniquely qualified to provide the most thorough and advanced diagnosis and treatment for these often complex and sometimes rare conditions. We offer a one-stop access to the full range of other pediatric subspecialty expertise that is often required in treating systemic rheumatic disease, providing carefully coordinated, multidisciplinary care in one convenient, close-to-home location.
Through our affiliation with Rheumatology Associates, The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH) offers rheumatology care for children from the only fellowship-trained pediatric rheumatologist in Maine. This is important because research shows that children with rheumatic disease have better outcomes when treated by a rheumatologist with this advanced pediatric subspecialty training.
Conditions, Diagnosis & Treatment
Learn more about conditions we treat, diagnosis and treatment options we offer.
We see the full range of both common and rare rheumatic disorders in children, including:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Growing pains
- Benign hypermobility syndrome
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (commonly referred to as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
- Kawasaki disease
- Lyme disease
- Mixed connective tissue disease
- Polyarteritis nodosa
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Raynaud’s disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
- Takayasu’s arteritis
- Wegener’s granulomatosis
- Other forms of vasculitis
- Periodic fever syndromes (also called hereditary autoinflammatory diseases)
Diagnosing pediatric arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can be challenging because symptoms are similar among the different diseases. In addition to conducting a comprehensive medical history and careful physical examination for each young patient, we provide access to state-of-the-art laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging resources. The imaging techniques may be used to provide a clearer picture of what is happening to your child’s joints.
The treatment of pediatric rheumatic disease primarily involves medical management, which can include joint injections with sedation and intravenous (IV) therapies, and careful, long-term monitoring. Medications are chosen based on the most effective therapy with the fewest side effects. We also incorporate other therapeutic options, tailored to each child’s unique needs, to aid in the healing process. These may include:
- Physical therapy to improve and maintain muscle and joint function
- Occupational therapy to improve the ability to perform activities of daily living
- Integrative medicine that offers the most proven-effective, alternative therapeutic resources which can be tailored to the unique needs of each young patient and take into account the whole person – body, mind and spirit
- Psychosocial support