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What is Juvenile Arthritis?

by | Jul 28, 2022 | Acupuncture, Health

What is Juvenile arthritis? This is a question you may ask yourself if your child is experiencing movement problems. Read on to learn about the condition and what needs to be done to help your child recover.

What is Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis will have children experience tenderness and swelling in one or more joint/s. This condition can permanently damage a child’s joints if left untreated. The damage to their joints will make everyday tasks such as walking or eating difficult to the point of being disabled.

The most common type of juvenile arthritis is known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This condition is most commonly seen in children under 16.

The symptoms of this type of arthritis can cause children to experience stiffness, swelling, and joint pain. Symptoms may last for months or years, depending on the child. Treatment must be administered quickly to prevent joint damage, growth problems, and other health problems.


Here are the common symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis:

Pain the child suffering from pain may not complain about it. Paying attention will show when they are in pain, such as when they limp as they move around.

Swelling is often easier to spot in larger joints such as the knee.

Stiffness may cause a child’s clumsy movement throughout the day.

Fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes may occur when the child has arthritis, which can get worse throughout the day.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis may affect many joints. There are also different subtypes for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which can all have different symptoms.


When to go see a doctor?

When a child is experiencing one of these symptoms such as swelling, joint pain, and stiffness for over a week, especially if they also experience a fever.


Juvenile idiopathic arthritis happens when your body’s immune system attacks the cells and tissues in your body. Nothing is known on why this happens, but both your environment and genetics play a role.

Risk factors

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is usually more common in girls.


Your child may suffer from complications caused by juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Keep track of your child’s condition and get help quickly to avoid complications

Eye Issues

Eye problems may occur when the child’s eye is inflamed. Get medical help immediately because if left untreated, it may cause blindness. An ophthalmologist is needed for regular checkups to ensure the child’s eyes stay healthy.

Growth Problems

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis may hinder your child’s bone development and growth, but medication can prevent problems. Note that some medications may also inhibit your child’s growth. It’s best to discuss your options with a doctor to compare risk vs reward.


Diagnosing juvenile idiopathic arthritis may be difficult because there are many problems that cause joint pain. There is no single test that can detect the condition, but they can help eliminate conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Blood Tests

Getting blood tests can check your child’s body for inflammation levels, autoimmune disease, and certain antibodies that may cause complications. Please note your child may need to go through multiple blood tests to pinpoint exactly whether they are suffering from juvenile arthritis and which type. There may also be other tests required because for many children your doctor may not find any abnormalities in their blood.

Imaging Scans

X-rays can be taken to eliminate other conditions such as infections, tumors, or fractures. The imaging scans may also be used to track bone development and to check for joint damage.


The treatment for juvenile idiopathic arthritis is all about allowing your child to maintain good mobility and social interactions through activities. Doctors use a variety of strategies to relieve swelling, pain, movement, and strength while preventing complications.


The medicines given to children for juvenile arthritis are supposed to improve function, decrease pain, and minimize potential joint damage.

NSAIDs are medications that reduce swelling and pain but may upset stomachs or sometimes cause liver and kidney problems.

DMARDs are added when NSAIDs are not enough to relieve swelling and pain from joints. The medication is used to slow the effects of arthritis on your kids. Taking these medications may result in liver problems, nausea, increased chances for infections, and low blood counts.

Biologic agents may help reduce the systemic inflammation in your child’s body to prevent joint damage. The medications can be used with DMARD and other medications to treat your child. Some of these medicines suppress your immune system, which can put your child at a higher risk of infections.

Corticosteroids can control the symptoms of arthritis before the other medications take effect. It can also be used to treat inflammation not found in joints. These drugs can make children more susceptible to infections and may interfere with growth.


The doctor may recommend your child to a physical therapist to keep their joints healthy. Therapists can recommend the proper exercises and protective equipment to preserve your child’s natural mobility.


If your children’s condition is severe, then it may be necessary to consider surgery as an option to help your child move.

Lifestyle Changes

You can help your children with these self-care tips to combat juvenile arthritis.

Exercise helps your child develop flexibility and strength. Try swimming because it places little stress on your child’s joints, but only after a physical therapist approves of the activity.

Warm and cold compress helps relieve stiffness from arthritis in the morning. Most children prefer hot packs or hot showers and baths for relief.

Diet must be monitored by a nutritionist to ensure your children do not become underweight or overweight due to medication and lack of physical activity. Dr. Cook is knowledgeable about diets and can give you eating tips to avoid aggravating your condition.

Drinking Tea

There are teas and herbal prescriptions that your child can take to ease their joint and muscle pain. Your child’s medication’s side effects may also be relieved by certain herbs.


The treatment can create micro-injuries to boost your child’s production of endorphins to offer relief from the pains of arthritis.

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