Types, symptoms and treatment of Juvenile Arthritis

People think of arthritis as a disease that only affects the elderly, but young people also develop arthritis for a variety of reasons. Read below for more information on Juvenile Arthritis.

Types, symptoms and treatment of Juvenile Arthritis

Types

Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation in one or many joints of the body. However, it can include surrounding tissues or tendons. Juvenile arthritis affects children and young teens and includes many types. Below are the most common:

  • Systemic Arthritis - This is one of the most common types of juvenile arthritis. This term is defined as arthritis affecting many systems of the body or the entire body.
  • Oligoarthritis - A child diagnosed with Oligoarthritis has inflammation in less than five joints. This form of juvenile arthritis is more common in girls than boys. It mainly affects the wrists, hands, and knees.
  • Polyarthritis - Polyarthritis includes five or more joints, usually all on the same side of the body. Polyarthritis most resembles adult arthritis.
  • Enthesitis-related Arthritis - This form of arthritis affects bones in the back, hips, and eyes. Signs of enthesitis-related arthritis are most commonly found in areas where tendons and bones fuse together.

Symptoms

Surprisingly, the most common symptom of juvenile arthritis is no symptom at all. In these cases, a diagnosis is often given after an X-ray, blood test, or injury. When symptoms are present, children with juvenile arthritis will often experience the same symptoms as adults, which include:

  • joint stiffness
  • joint, muscle, or bone pain
  • visible swelling in the area(s) affected
  • limping
  • mild fever
  • rash
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fatigue

Treatments

The first thing your child's doctor will suggest is a change in diet. Certain foods are responsible for aggravating the symptoms of arthritis by causing inflammation. Dietary changes usually include eliminating processed food and increasing whole grain and vegetable intake.

Another common treatment for juvenile arthritis is the use of Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications. These oral medications immediately reduce swelling, which relieves many of the above listed symptoms. If the pain is severe, pain medication may also be prescribed.

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