Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is otherwise called as Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis is a type of arthritis and it is common among children of less than 17 years of age. This condition causes persistent stiffness, swelling and joint pain. Some children experience these symptoms only for a few months, while in some they will experience the same for the rest of their lives. Some types of this arthritis can lead to serious consequences like eye inflammation and growth issues in children. Generally, the treatment for this condition will lay attention towards controlling pain, prevention of joint damage and improving function.
As mentioned earlier, there are three common symptoms of this condition and here is an explanation this regard:
Pain: Even though, the child might not complain any pain, parents can notice that the child walks lamely, particularly after a nap or in the morning as soon as he/she gets up.
Swelling: Even though, joint swelling is a common symptom, it can be noticed initially in the larger joints like knees.
Stiffness: The parents can notice that their child looks clumsier than usual, particularly after getting up in the morning or after a small nap.
This condition can either affect a single joint or many joints as well. In some children, it can affect the entire body, thereby causing fever, rashes and lymph nodes. Like other types of arthritis, in this type too, the condition will be visible when the symptoms flare up and will not show up when the symptoms disappear.
When to seek medical help?
If a parent notices that his/her child has joint pain, stiffness and swelling continuously for a week associated with fever, it is better to seek medical help.
What causes this condition?
This type of arthritis shows up when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. Even though, the actual cause for this trigger is not known, it is stated that environmental factors and heredity reasons can be contributing factors. Reports state that some gene mutations can make a person more susceptible to environmental factors like viruses.
Reports state that girls are known to be more prone to some types of Juvenile Arthritis as compared to boys.
Generally, when this condition remains untreated, several complications can show up like those mentioned below:
Eye problems: Some types of juvenile arthritis can lead to inflammation of eyes. If it remains untreated, it can lead to glaucoma, cataracts and even blindness. If a child is diagnosed to have this condition, it is important that the child should be regularly taken to ophthalmologist as eye inflammation can occur at any time without any symptoms.
Growth problems: The bone development and growth of the child can be affected when this arthritis remains untreated. But, the worst thing here is that some medications prescribed for this condition can also slow down the growth process in kids.
So, parents should keep a watch of some joint issues in their children and should seek immediate medical help.