Before Juvenile Arthritis can be diagnosed, there’s a list of varying factors that can prove Juvenile Arthritis(JA) is present and it doesn’t always mean the diagnosed patient has arthritis. Juvenile Arthritis is not a disease in itself, but a category with a list of subcategories of other autoimmune diseases found in children under the age of 16. It is known as a rheumatic disease that can make up of many different types of conditions. Although every autoimmune disease is different, they all share similar symptoms in pain, swelling, aching joints, unsteady hands, and weak muscles.
What Classifies as Juvenile Arthritis?
- Juvenile Dermatomyositis - A disease that weakens muscles and can cause skin rashes on eyelids and knuckles, also known as an inflammatory disease.
- Juvenile Scleroderma - A condition that causes the skin to harden and tighten.
- Kawasaki Disease - If not treated right, this disease can lead to heart complications due to blood vessel inflammation.
- Juvenile Lupus - Lupus is a notorious autoimmune disease that attacks the body from the inside but mostly known for its effect on kidneys, blood, skin, and joints.
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) - One of the most common forms of arthritis, it also has its own categories such as: Polyarthritis, systemic arthritis, oligoarhritis, enthesitis, juvenile psoriatic arthritis or “undifferentiated”.
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease - This can include multiple symptoms from other diseases such as arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.
- Fibromyalgia - This is also related to arthritis, with a condition of chronic pain that can cause stiffness, aching, fatigue, or restlessness. It is most common in females and is rarely diagnosed before puberty.
Juvenile Arthritis Symptoms, Treatment, and Home Care
Joint pain and stiffness is arguably one of the most common symptoms with any rheumatic disease, but these systems are even more alarming when they’re found in children. On any given day, for perhaps no reason at all, a “flare-up” can occur and make it difficult to do everyday tasks that were once simple to complete. Fatigue, hot/cold flashes, and chronic pain are also symptoms of a rheumatic disease such as Juvenile Arthritis.
Unfortunately, there is currently no “cure” for Juvenile Arthritis, but with an early diagnosis, enough treatment, and proper care, it can be controlled. There are medications and therapies that improve symptoms of chronic pain and joint stiffness greatly. Staying healthy and active can also aid in remission of this disease.
One of the most important steps in treating Juvenile Arthritis is the home care, which can include anything from healthy eating to hot/cold packs.. Another at-home remedy to flare-ups is some sort of pain relief cream that can soothe aches, burns, itchiness, and nerve pain. It is important to make your home as comfortable as possible, providing a supportive cushion can help ease stiffness in muscles and joints. Drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated aids in a healthy immune system, eating the right foods aid in remission, and staying active keeps your body from shutting down on those really bad days. Don’t wait to find out if your child has Juvenile Arthritis, if they’re showing systems it’s best to catch it early on so the journey to remission can begin.
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