Arthritis is a condition that most people associate with older people. However, it can also affect kids of all ages. There are many different kinds of arthritis, but juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common in kids.
The CDC has reported that around 1 in 1,000 kids will be diagnosed with JIA. The condition can affect kids in many different ways, so any issues must be quickly identified and treated. Today, we will have a closer look at Arthritis causes & symptoms in kids.
What is JIA?
Arthritis is a painful condition that causes chronic joint pain and stiffness. It can also cause swelling in the affected area. It can affect all the major joints, such as knee, wrist, hips, ankles, and shoulders.
In some cases, the symptoms will come and go again without any long-term issues. However, some cases of JIA can lead to severe complications without can have a massive impact on the child’s life.
Typically, if the pain and stiffness last for around six weeks, then there is a possibility that the child has some arthritis. The good news is that JIA is treatable, and for many kids, the condition will not affect their ability to lead a full and active life.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of JIA may affect one joint or many different areas of the body. In all cases, the child will suffer from one or more of these symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Joint Stiffness
- Fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes
Many of these symptoms may occur if the child plays a lot of sports, leads an active life, or spends a lot of time immobile. However, if there has been no prior history of injuries, trips, and falls, and the pain stays for longer than a week, it is worth getting the child checked out.
Quick diagnosis and the start of treatment can significantly reduce complications from occurring. If the condition is left untreated, it may harm eye health and the overall physical development of the child.
JIA is an autoimmune disease that attacks the tissues in the affected joints. At this stage, there is no definitive answer to what causes JIA to occur. Some kinds of arthritis may be caused by genetics, but there is limited evidence as to how this happens.
If your doctor suspects that your child has JIA, they will arrange for some blood tests and scans to confirm the diagnosis. From there, they will create a treatment plan that will help with pain management and improve the movement of the joint.
There is a selection of medicines available that can help to control the swelling and reduce the pain, while also reducing the chances of long-term damage. Physical therapy may be recommended for some children to help them improve the overall range of movement within the affected joint. They will also make recommendations on exercise, posture, and other areas that will enable the child to participate as fully as possible in everyday activities.