We tend to associate arthritis with the elderly, and most people don’t even realize that it is a condition that can affect children as well. While it is true that arthritis is more common in older people, it is still possible for children to develop what is known as juvenile arthritis. The symptoms are the same as they are in adults and, unfortunately, there is no cure for it. As a parent, it is important that you are aware of this condition because it is often overlooked because people don’t even consider that their child may have arthritis and they look for other reasons for joint pain. Keep reading to find out more information about juvenile arthritis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Juvenile Arthritis?
The symptoms of arthritis in children are very similar to the symptoms that adults experience when they have the condition. They include:
- Joint pain
- Stiffness in joints
- A rash or a fever
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling and inflammation around the eyes
These symptoms make it difficult for your child to do simple things like walking, playing, or dressing themselves.
What Are The Causes Of Juvenile Arthritis?
At the minute, medical professionals are not exactly sure what causes juvenile arthritis. It is believed that it may be due to a problem with the immune system, which causes inflammation around the joints. Unfortunately, without knowing what the exact cause is, it is difficult to find a way to cure the condition. However, it can go into remission so the symptoms do not affect the child.
How Is It Diagnosed?
If you notice that your child is having difficulty with simple tasks and they complain of pain in their joints, there is a chance that they may be suffering from juvenile arthritis. If you visit the Musculoskeletal Australia website, you can find more information on the symptoms and how to recognize them. If you are worried, you need to take your child to the doctor. They will be given x-rays and a physical examination, and potentially referred to a rheumatologist for a diagnosis.
How Can You Treat It?
There is no way that you can cure juvenile arthritis but there are ways that you can treat the symptoms. It’s important that you keep your child active as this will help to keep their joints and muscles strong. This can be difficult if they are experiencing pain, but if they do not stay active, it can make the problem a lot worse. If you speak with your doctor, they will also be able to prescribe painkillers to help manage the pain. In very severe cases, doctors may recommend surgery to improve the positions of the joints. This can make a big difference, but it is not a very common treatment and is only used in rare cases.
A lot of parents are not even aware of arthritis in children but it can be a big problem. It’s important that you are aware of the symptoms and you take your child in for an examination if you notice any of them.