Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Overview

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA is a painful condition that affects children less than sixteen years of age. The affected child may experience tenderness, rigidity and inflammation in one or more joints. This swelling may exist for more than two months. There are basically three main categories of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which are systemic, pauciarticular and polyarticular.

Pauciarticular is the most common and mild form of JRA which typically affects around one to four joints like the fingers, ankles, wrists, knees or hips. Polyarticular JRA, on the other hand, affects more number of joints which includes the spine and may grow into adult rheumatoid arthritis. The most severe but the rarest kind of JRA is systemic that can reach the organs and lead to more intense swelling, joint pain, rashes, and fever.

Symptoms:

Signs to look for include joint swelling that is more prominent in the morning. Repeated complain by the child about pain in the hands or knees. Parents may also notice that the child limps while walking. Loss of joint function can also be observed. Eye inflammation is normally linked with pauciarticular JRA.

While, few children experiences one or two agonizing outbreaks before the condition disappears; others go on to live with the signs for years.

Causes:

JRA is an auto-immune disorder that is known to be triggered by the body’s immune system. Most children who suffer from JRA typically have a genetic disposition towards the disorder, even though children with no gene-markers for the disorder also develop evident symptoms. Moreover, a bacteria or virus that gets into the body is believed to prompt the illness.

Diagnosis:

After a family and medical history and a physical check; blood tests are performed to look for anti-bodies in the child’s blood. The sedimentation rate of the red blood cells can assist in determining the type of JRA that is present in the body. Following these tests, X-rays are done to eradicate any other causes of swelling like birth defects, broken bones, or infections. The X-ray also helps to establish the amount of harm that is already done to the joints.

Treatment:

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can be treated using medication, proper diet, physical therapy, eye-care and exercises. Here are some useful treatment methods to treat JRA.

Diet:

Following a proper diet plan is exceptionally vital for the treatment. The diet plan must be abundant in nutrients such as calcium, proteins and zinc. Also, there are specific food items that should not be given to the child to prevent the worsening of the symptoms. Your doctor will be able to advise you well about the diet plan to be followed.

Exercises:

A sincere exercise routine must be followed by the children suffering from arthritis as it will help them in strengthening their muscles and offer ample support to the inflamed joints. They can participate in activities such as swimming, brisk walking or bicycling.

Medication:

The medications prescribed for this disease includes rheumatic medication such as non-steroidal anti inflammatory medication. The prescribed medication normally depends upon the intensity of the symptoms.

Magnetic And Hydrotherapy:

Conventional medical science supports the usage of electromagnetic therapy to treat stiffness, pain and inflammation. Similarly, hydrotherapy is a water therapy that includes taking warm bath and mineral bath. This technique is used to obtain relief from arthritis and sprains.

To conclude, the children suffering from this condition requires lot of care and affection. The treatment for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis must not be deferred. Nutritional supplements together with exercises, therapies and medication can help the child to grow out of this painful condition completely.