Skip to Main Content


  • Lupus erythematosus


  • 695.4 Lupus erythematosus
  • PT diagnoses/treatment diagnoses that may be associated with immune disorders affecting movement
    • 315.4 Developmental coordination disorder
    • 718.07 Articular cartilage disorder, ankle and foot
    • 718.03 Articular cartilage disorder, forearm
    • 718.04 Articular cartilage disorder, hand
    • 718.45 Contracture of joint, pelvic region and thigh
    • 719.39 Palindromic rheumatism involving multiple sites
    • 719.4 Pain in joint
    • 719.70 Difficulty in walking involving joint site unspecified
    • 728.2 Muscular wasting and disuse atrophy, not elsewhere classified
    • 729.9 Other and unspecified disorders of soft tissue
    • 729.1 Myalgia and myositis, unspecified
    • 729.9 Other disorders of soft tissue
    • 736.9 Acquired deformity of limb site unspecified
    • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue
    • 781.2 Abnormality of gait
    • 782.3 Edema
    • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities
    • 786.05 Shortness of breath


  • L93.0 Discoid lupus erythematosus
  • L93.2 Other local lupus erythematosus




  • A long term autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s tissues and organ systems as if they were foreign substances
  • Affects skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs
  • Although SLE is most common form, there are others: discoid or cutaneous lupus, drug-induced systemic lupus, neonatal lupus, and subacute cutaneous lupus
  • Onset often vague with misdiagnosis


Essentials of Diagnosis


  • Must be made by a physician and confirmed by medical diagnostic testing
  • According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)2 4 of 11 of the following must be present:
    • Malar rash: a rash over the cheeks and nose, often in the shape of a butterfly
    • Discoid rash: a rash that appears as red, raised, disk-shaped patches
    • Photosensitivity: a reaction to sun or light that causes a skin rash to appear or get worse
    • Oral ulcers: sores appearing in the mouth
    • Arthritis: joint pain and swelling of two or more joints in which the bones around the joints do not become destroyed
    • Serositis: inflammation of the lining around the lungs (pleuritis) or inflammation of the lining around the heart that causes chest pain, which is worse with deep breathing (pericarditis)
    • Kidney disorder: persistent protein or cellular casts in the urine
    • Neurological disorder: seizures or psychosis
    • Blood disorder: anemia (low red blood cell count), leukopenia (low white blood cell count), lymphopenia (low level of specific white blood cells), or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
    • Immunologic disorder: abnormal anti-double-stranded DNA or anti-Sm, positive antiphospholipid antibodies
    • Abnormal antinuclear antibody (ANA)


General Considerations


  • Diagnosis for more occult problems may take time and require intensive medical diagnostic testing
  • May result in secondary problems
    • Aerobic capacity and muscle endurance impairment
    • Sarcopenia
    • Weakness/impaired muscle performance
    • Musculoskeletal problems
    • Neuromuscular problems
    • Weight loss indicating the need for physical therapy
  • Because lupus and other immune disorders frequently refer pain or are ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessPhysiotherapy Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPhysiotherapy content and resources including interactive NPTE review, more than 500 videos, Anatomy & Physiology Revealed, 20+ leading textbooks, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPhysiotherapy

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.