Juvenile Arthritis has become one of the nation’s most common childhood ailments. Approximately 295,000 children suffer from several types of rheumatologic conditions which can greatly affect their ability to develop normally and lead active lives without pain. Basic symptoms include tenderness, stiffness, pain or swelling of joints resulting in restricted movements and limited range of motion.
To date, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains an enigma and there is no cure, be it among children or adults. It has not been found to be related to eating habits, vitamin deficiency or allergies, but maybe present in genes and triggered by unknown factors. Only after assessing the patient’s complete medical history can rheumatoid arthritis be diagnosed. For arthritic problems in children, evaluation should be done by a pediatric rheumatologist after joint swelling is present in two or more joints for six weeks.
Treatment concentrates on controlling inflammation, joint deformity and pain. While medications can be adopted as a first line of treatment, pediatric rheumatologists also encourage physical activity, occupational therapy and proper nutrition to manage symptoms.
Awareness is growing worldwide as July is declared the Juvenile Arthritis awareness month. If you would like to learn more please visit www.arthritis.org.