This article on Juvenile Arthritis: What Parent’s Need to Know is dedicated to providing very helpful information on the condition in the hopes of aiding them in parenting a child suffering from it. Here you will learn about what juvenile arthritis is, its development, its diagnosis, and the treatments available for children suffering from it.
Juvenile Arthritis – An Overview
Just like with all other types of arthritis, juvenile arthritis results from a joint becoming inflamed. It brings about pain, stiffness, swelling, and most of the time, loss of mobility within the joints. Juvenile arthritis is the term generally used to describe arthritis that children suffer from. Children can also experience the same types of arthritis that adults suffer from, but the most common one is juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most accepted term used to describe different types of chronic arthritis that develop in children. The symptoms are similar in general, which include swelling, warmth, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling. These symptoms may last and exhibit themselves for more than 6 consecutive weeks. There are also 7 subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, each one with their own distinguishing symptoms.
1. Systemic Arthritis – Fever that lasted for a minimum of 2 weeks, lymph node enlargement, liver or spleen enlargement, swelling of the heart’s or lung’s lining, rheumatoid rash
2. Oligoarthritis – Arthritis that affects 1 up to 4 joints lasting for more than half a year; has 2 subtypes: 1) persistent oligoarthritis (up to only 4 joints are affected) and 2) extended oligoarthritis (more than 4 joints become affected half a year)
3. Polyarthritis Rheumatoid Factor Negative – Arthritis that affects 5 or more joints during the first half of the year, but have negative results in all rheumatoid factor tests
4. Polyarthritis Rheumatoid Factor Positive – Arthritis that affects 5 or more joints during the first half of the year, but have positive results in at least two of the rheumatoid factor tests
5. Psoriatic Arthritis – Child suffers from both arthritis and psoriasis accompanied by inflammation of 1 entire toe or finger
6. Enthesitis-Related Arthritis – The enthesis is the part at which a joint capsule, a ligament, or a tendon attaches itself to the bone. If this part becomes swollen, it can result in tenderness, pain, and inflammation.
7. Undifferentiated Arthritis – If a child has not been diagnosed with any of the 6 categories discussed above, it is said that he or she is suffering from this type of juvenile arthritis.
Next on this article on Juvenile Arthritis: What Parent’s Need to Know, we will discuss the treatments available for this type of condition that children suffer from. Their main goals include preserving a high level of social and physical functioning in the patient as well as maintaining an overall good quality of life. In order for these goals to be achieved, the following treatments are offered:
- Medication through nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including naproxen, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen and aspirin to help ease pain
- Regular physical therapy sessions comprised of proper exercise programs to maintain and preserve muscle tone while also aiding in the recovery of motion in the joints
- Seeking alternative and complementary therapies such as supplements, massage, acupuncture, and specially designed diets