Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. That’s right arthritis is not just a condition experienced by the elderly but by kids too. So, this month we answer some common questions on juvenile arthritis.
- How common is juvenile arthritis?
- It is estimated that around 300,000 children in the United States have a form of arthritis.
- How long does juvenile arthritis last?
- This varies greatly. For some the condition may last indefinitely, while others may only have one or two flares and then never experience symptoms again.
- What symptoms do children with juvenile arthritis experience?
- The most common symptoms children experience are stiff, swollen and painful joints. The intensity of the symptoms varies for each child.
- What is the most common form of juvenile arthritis?
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis in children under the age of 16.
- What causes juvenile arthritis?
- Unfortunately, as with many autoimmune conditions, the cause is currently unknown. It is likely a combination of genetic factors, environmental factors and the child’s own immune system.
- How is juvenile arthritis treated?
- Juvenile arthritis is treated in the same way as adult rheumatic disease. Treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs such as methotrexate, biologic agents (which supress the immune system via a different mechanism) and corticosteroids (used to control symptoms until other medications have time to take effect). Exercise and physical therapy can be used to help maintain joint mobility, range of motion and muscle tone. In severe cases surgery might be necessary to improve joint function.
How can you help children with juvenile arthritis? Head over to https://curearthritis.org/juvenile-arthritis-awareness-month/ to see the multitude of ways you can contribute to the fight against juvenile arthritis! Together we can find a cure.