Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - Health Center
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis which is also known as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is one of the most common kind of arthritis found in children below the age of 17. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of the condition are swelling, stiffness as well as persistent joint pains. Certain children may experience the symptoms for only a few months, others may exhibit the symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Some kinds of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis tend to cause serious complications such as stunted growth and inflammation of the eyes. The treatment for Juvenile Arthritis focuses on controlling the pain as well as improving the joint function and damage.
Causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis tends to occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. It is undetermined as to what causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. However, it is known that heredity and environment has a major role to play. Genetic mutations are also known to make a person susceptible towards developing the condition. Environmental factors such as viruses are also known to trigger the onset of the disease.
Symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some of the most common symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis are as follows:
- Pain: The child might start limping due to the pain in the joints. This is especially common during the morning or after taking a nap.
- Swelling: Swelling in the joints is also a very common symptom which is noticed in the larger joints, such as the knee.
- Stiffness: The child may experience stiffness in the joints after the early morning or the afternoon nap.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is known to affect more than one joint. In some cases, the entire body joints of the affected person are known to be affected. Swelling in the lymph nodes, rashes and fever are some of the other major signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It is crucial to take your child to the doctor in case he has been experiencing joint pain, swelling or stiffness around the major joints for more than a week. The condition could be worse if this pain is also accompanied by fever.
Diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
The Diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis can often be difficult as the joint pain could be caused due to many different conditions. There exists no single test in order to confirm the diagnosis. However, certain tests can rule out other conditions which cause similar signs and symptoms.
Blood Tests: Some of the most common blood tests include:
- ESR: Erthytrocyte Sedimentation Rate is a common test which determines the speed at which the red blood cells settle down at the bottom of the test tube. An elevated rate determines inflammation.
- C Reactive Protein: This blood test measures the general inflammation in the body.
- CCP: Cyclic Citryllinated Peptide is a test which determines the presence of the antibody in the blood of the children suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Anti Nuclear Antibody: Anti nuclear antibodies are the proteins which are produced by the immune system of people suffering from auto immune diseases such as arthritis.
Imaging Tests such as X rays and MRI Scans can be done in order to determine and diagnose the bone development and detect any joint damage.
Treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis works on helping the child to maintain a normal range of physical activity as well as social activity. In order to accomplish this, the doctors might prescribe a combination of strategies to reduce the pain and maintain full movement and strength of the joints.
Pain reliever medications designed in order to reduce the progression of the disease may be prescribed to some children. These medications include NSAID’s, DMARD’s and biological agents in order to reduce the pain, morning stiffness as well as swollen joints. Corticosteroids such as Prednisone may be used in order to reduce the inflammation around the sacs.
The doctors may also recommend therapies in order to maintain the flexibility of the joints and range of muscle tone. Additional recommendations about the exercises and protective equipment for the child too can be prescribed the therapist.
Only in severe cases of the disease, surgery may be needed in order to improve the position of the joint.