Seeing your children suffering from any form of pain is a difficult task for the parents. When your child is suffering from juvenile arthritis, the pain can be excruciating. Learn more about what you can do as a parent to help your child manage the symptoms of juvenile arthritis.
Also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects children below 17 years of age. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes stiffness, swelling, and joint pain. In some children, the symptoms of juvenile arthritis may last for only a couple of months, while others may suffer from the symptoms for the rest of their lives. Juvenile arthritis can lead to serious complications such as eye inflammation and growth problems. The pain and discomfort associated with this disorder are known to interfere in performing several daily tasks, thereby reducing the quality of life.
There are five different types of juvenile arthritis, namely, psoriatic arthritis, oligoarthritis, systemic arthritis, polyarthritis, and enthesitis-related arthritis. The symptoms of this disorder vary greatly depending upon the type of juvenile arthritis. Some of the symptoms of this form of arthritis are joint stiffness, limping, tenderness in the joints, fatigue, rash, persistent fever, weight loss, and blurred vision.
Juvenile arthritis is usually described as ‘idiopathic’, in other words, the cause of this disorder is unknown. You suffer from juvenile arthritis when the immune system of your body attacks its own tissues and cells, however, why it attacks the cells is not known. There are certain environmental as well as genetic factors that seem to play a role in the development of this condition. The diagnosis of this disorder may be difficult because you may either have no symptoms or the symptoms may be associated with those of the other medical conditions. Apart from a complete medical checkup, your doctor may conduct a variety of other tests like blood culture, imaging tests, bone marrow test, complete blood count, rheumatoid factor test, and bone scan.
The treatment plan for juvenile arthritis focuses mainly on reducing the swelling, preventing complications and joint damage, increasing joint strength and mobility, as well as relieving the pain. Because there are different types of juvenile arthritis, there are different treatment methods available. The examples of the typical medications used to treat this disorder include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen, corticosteroids, and slow-acting antirheumatic drugs or SAARDs like methotrexate. Most often than not, your treatment plan will also include exercise and physical therapy to maintain the range of motion and keep your joints flexible. Surgery may be required only in some severe cases of juvenile arthritis.
You can greatly improve your kid’s quality of life by making certain lifestyle modifications and teaching them several self-care techniques. More than 300,000 children are affected with juvenile arthritis in the US, and it is indeed a scary situation for the parents. Here are some tips for you that will help your child effectively cope with the juvenile arthritis symptoms.
As a parent, you must be aware about how vital a good night’s sleep is for the child’s overall development. When they are suffering from juvenile arthritis, a good night’s sleep becomes even more important. The symptoms of this disorder can easily exacerbate, when the kids are tired. When your kids are battling juvenile arthritis, they are already extremely tired and if they don’t get good sleep, it just adds to the fatigue. There are numerous things that you as a parent can do, to ensure that your child gets a good night’s sleep.
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