Juvenile Arthritis

Also called: Childhood arthritis, JRA, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Still's disease

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is arthritis that happens in children. It causes joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and loss of motion. It can affect any joint, but is more common in the knees, hands, and feet. In some cases it can affect internal organs as well.

The most common type of JA that children get is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. There are several other forms of arthritis affecting children.

One early sign of JA may be limping in the morning. Symptoms can come and go. Some children have just one or two flare-ups. Others have symptoms that never go away. JA can cause growth problems and eye inflammation in some children.

No one knows exactly what causes JA. Most types are autoimmune disorders. This means that your immune system, which normally helps your body fight infection, attacks your body's own tissues.

JA can be hard to diagnose. Your health care provider may do a physical exam, lab tests, and x-rays. A team of providers usually treats JA. Medicines and physical therapy can help maintain movement and reduce swelling and pain. They may also help prevent and treat complications.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

The following features are indicative of Juvenile Arthritis:
  • swollen, red or warm joint
  • high fever
  • rash
  • stiffness
  • pain
  • pale skin
  • sick appearance
  • swollen lymph gland
  • limited joint movement
  • vision changes
  • photophobia
  • red eyes
  • eye pain
It is possible that Juvenile Arthritis shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Juvenile Arthritis

The following are the most common causes of Juvenile Arthritis:
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Juvenile Arthritis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Juvenile Arthritis:
  • breastfeeding
  • maternal smoking
  • sun exposure
  • maternal infective illness
  • hospital infections

Prevention of Juvenile Arthritis

No, it is not possible to prevent Juvenile Arthritis.
  • genetic factors

Occurrence of Juvenile Arthritis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Juvenile Arthritis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Juvenile Arthritis most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Birth to 16 years

Common Gender

Juvenile Arthritis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Juvenile Arthritis:
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR): To determine the type of juvenile arthritis and extent of inflammation
  • C-reactive protein test: To measure levels of general inflammation
  • Anti-nuclear antibody: To measure number of proteins produced by immune system
  • Rheumatoid factor: To determine the rheumatoid factor antibody in the patient's blood
  • Cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP): To determine CCP antibody in child's blood

Doctor for Diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis:
  • Pediatric rheumatologist

Complications of Juvenile Arthritis if untreated

Yes, Juvenile Arthritis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Juvenile Arthritis is left untreated:
  • uveitis
  • cataract
  • glaucoma
  • blindness
  • interference with child's growth and bone development

Procedures for Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis

The following procedures are used to treat Juvenile Arthritis:
  • Surgery: To improve the joint position

Self-care for Juvenile Arthritis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Juvenile Arthritis:
  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise to promote muscle strength and joint flexibility
  • Apply cold or heat packs: To relieve stiffness in morning
  • Eat healthy diet: To maintain normal body weight

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Juvenile Arthritis:
  • Physical therapy: To prevent joint deformity and maintain movement
  • Occupational therapist: Helps to improve strength and mobility

Patient Support for Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis

The following actions may help Juvenile Arthritis patients:
  • Family support: Helps child cope up with juvenile arthritis
  • Family encouragement: By encouraging child to participate in physical activities

Time for Treatment of Juvenile Arthritis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Juvenile Arthritis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Juvenile Arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis

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