Can Your Kid Be A Victim Of Juvenile Arthritis?

Unfortunately, the answer is “Yes”. Like adults, kids are also susceptible to various arthritic conditions, essentially due to the combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition is known as Juvenile arthritis. Orthopaedics call it juvenile “idiopathic” arthritis when the specific cause and the trigger factors of the condition are unknown. In fact, Juvenile “idiopathic” arthritis is somewhat a widely accepted term to describe various types of chronic arthritis in children.

The Affected Group

Children can get affected with arthritic syndrome at any age till he reaches his adolescence. While the risk of incidence gets stronger (mostly due to genetic combinations) after two years of the child’s birth, parents should be careful always. Mostly, the common symptoms include pain, inflammation, redness and warmth of the affected joints, each of the conditions of Juvenile Arthritis is symptomatically different.

The Signs and Symptoms

As revealed by the radiological diagnosis of juvenile arthritis, the affected person may feel fatigued and stressed at the odd hours along with pain and sudden onset of fevers. Learn more about the symptoms and early warning signs.

Joint Pain: Most of the time, we overlook the joint pain in kids, considering it a strenuous activity. But, keep a check of the time when your child actually feels the pain. The pain of juvenile arthritis usually starts once the kid gets out of the bed after a good night’s sleep or after a power nap. The knee joints, hands, elbow, jaw and neck joint might feel strained. In the initial phase, the pain medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen will ease the pain, but soon they will cease to provide nay relief. In kids, the pain for arthritic conditions involve all the joints rather than one single joint

Joint Stiffness: Joint stiffness is the warning sign of arthritic condition in both kids and adults. Sometimes , stiffness lead to serious consequences, thus limiting the movements of the affected person. Apart from causing disability, joint stiffness can also prevent the kid from performing normal activities

Swelling and Joint Inflammation: An inflamed joint often looks red and feels warm. So, if you complain that his joint feels hot, don’t ignore. Kids can have inflamed knee, hands and feet joints. Unless the swelling happens right after a fall or injury during play, this symptom is sure-fire sign of joint arthritis.

Frequent Fevers: While fevers in kids often result from infectious flu or stomach ailments, frequent fevers can also be a warning sign of juvenile arthritis. This kind of fever is often accompanied by malaise or fatigue. These fevers start all of a sudden and usually cause no stomach and respiratory infections. These are hay fevers which last for a short span of time.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Due to its symptoms (which are pretty common in growing kids), a correct diagnosis of juvenile arthritis is often difficult. Depending on the symptoms, several lab tests are performed. These include

  • Anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies
  • Rheumatoid factor (RF)
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA)
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate)

Doctors might also consider X-rays in order to reach out to the correct diagnosis. Several tests are also performed for differential diagnosis in order to rule out the possibilities of other diseases.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Treatment Guidelines

First of all, it should be kept in mind that the medications which are now available are not meant for arthritis cure, instead they are used to keep the symptoms at bay. Preserving the quality of life is the main goal of Arthritis treatment plan. When kids are involved, doctors usually follow a relatively moderate approach with holistic benefits. The treatment plan usually includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Corticosteroids and physical therapy.

The Endnote                                                                                                                                      

Juvenile arthritis is not a disease in itself, rather it’s a set of symptoms which tend to affect the joints. Unfortunately no cure is available for this disease till date, though early diagnosis and proper treatment plan can result in remission of the problem for an extended period of time.