It is estimated that nearly 1 in every 1000 children develops juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). In children, rheumatoid arthritis is treatable. Life with arthritis is challenging, especially in children. But, with proper care and treatment, the children with arthritis can lead an active life. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the inflammation of the one or more joints persisting for at least six weeks in the children under the age of 16 years. JIA is most commonly seen in girls. And, the researchers believe that the genetic propensity of juvenile arthritis in children is same as in adults.
Joints or articulations are the areas where two bones connect. Joints can be mobile or immobile. But, most of your joints are movable. Joints consist of the following:
The actual cause of JRA is unclear. While, the research says that it might be an autoimmune disorder. In the autoimmune disease, the immune system is unable to differentiate between the healthy and pathogenic cells. So, the immune system attacks the healthy cells.
In juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system releases the chemicals that affect the healthy tissues in your body that leads to inflammation and pain in the joints. The incidence of JRA is increased by certain gene mutations which make you more susceptible to the environmental factors such as viruses.
There are three types of JRA that include:
The symptoms of JRA include:
If juvenile arthritis is left untreated, it may lead to severe complications. These include the following:
Your doctor diagnoses JRA in your child by taking a medical history and performing a physical examination. Your doctor may also suggest certain diagnostic tests which include:
Your doctor may recommend certain medications to relieve pain and progression of the disease. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment includes:Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): The NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are prescribed to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy and occupational therapy for your child. In severe conditions, surgery may be required for the treatment of juvenile arthritis, to improve the movement at the joints.
Performing physical activities and eating healthy foods may benefit the children with JRA. The doctor may recommend certain tips to manage JRA that include the following: