If your child complains and experiences stiffness or pain in the joints, and loss of flexibility and swelling, then consult a doctor as he may have juvenile arthritis.
Arthritis is largely associated with the elderly, but shockingly children too can develop arthritis. Senior Consultant – Arthroscopy and Joint Replacement, Dr. Jayant Arora with Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon explains what is juvenile arthritis, types of juvenile arthritis, causes and symptoms of juvenile arthritis, and prevention and treatment of juvenile arthritis.
What is juvenile arthritis?
Juvenile arthritis affects children; Any form of arthritis occurring in children below the age of 16 years is called juvenile or childhood arthritis. It is a chronic auto immune disease, where the body attacks its own healthy cells. Due to poor autoimmune system your children will experience juvenile arthritis.
Types of arthritis: Different types of juvenile arthritis
There are three main types of juvenile arthritis – juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. But juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
Symptoms of juvenile arthritis:
1) Swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints.
2) Limited motion and loss of flexibility.
3) Damage to joint and cartilage.
4) Short stature due to deformed growth of bones.
Causes of juvenile arthritis:
Polyarthritis is involvement of multiple joints, usually five or more joints. Usually smaller joints of the hand but sometimes even larger joints like hip, neck, shoulder, jaw, etc are affected. Oligo articular arthritis is involvement of less than 4 joints and usually involves larger joints. Limitation of moment, pain and swelling are some of the symptoms seen, along with fever which is high and spiking often lasting for several weeks or months with pale red spots on the chest, thighs or other parts. When the joints get inflamed and stiff, growth is impaired or distorted. There are many theories as to the cause of juvenile arthritis but no conclusive evidence is available.
Juvenile arthritis prevention:
Since the cause itself is under research, no preventive measures are available. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help in better outcomes. informs the doctor, which brings us to the treatment of juvenile arthritis.
Treatment for juvenile arthritis:
Treatment is important for juvenile arthritis, as proper leg exercises can help you reduce the pain and discomfort. The treatment varies from case to case. Early diagnosis and institution of treatment, along with compliance to medication and physiotherapy gives a more positive outcome. Medication, physiotherapy, splints and in some cases surgery are the modalities of care. They focus on pain relief, reduction of swelling and maximizing movement.