What is Juvenile Chronic Arthritis?

2 August 2017

Has your child been complaining about painful, swollen or stiff joints? You might think this issue is simply a part of their childhood: growing pains that will go away with time and rest. However, if your child complains about this pain for more than a couple of weeks, their complaints might not be as innocent as you think. This seemingly harmless ailment could be an indication of juvenile chronic arthritis.

What is Juvenile Chronic Arthritis?

Juvenile chronic arthritis is an inflammatory joint condition that occurs in children under 16 years of age. Affecting 1 in 1,000 children, the disease is commonly found in those aged from one to six, but it can develop in children as old as 15 years of age.

The condition is known by a number of different names, with their prevalence depending on which side of the pond you're from. This includes names such as:

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

How Do I Know If My Child Has Juvenile Chronic Arthritis?

Juvenile chronic arthritis manifests with non-specific symptoms, so the condition can be difficult to diagnose. One of the most common symptoms is painful and swollen joints. As there are many reasons why a child could suffer from discomfort in their joints, healthcare professionals might not know exactly what they're suffering from at first.

If your child seems more tired than usual, it's easy to chalk this up to the fact that they're growing. However, this, coupled with increased irritability, can be a sign of juvenile arthritis. In most cases, the symptoms of the condition are unpredictable; while your child might go through periods of remission, the next day their symptoms might return. Other symptoms include:

  • Recurring fevers
  • Limping with no injury
  • Refusing to walk
  • Stiff joints, especially in the morning
  • Joints that are warm to the touch
  • Protecting or shielding a joint

Causes of Juvenile Chronic Arthritis

It's no coincidence that the condition is often referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, as "Idiopathic" is a term used for conditions with no known cause. However, new research is continually being performed to get to the bottom of the disease.

Here's what we do know: juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system is your body's way of protecting itself against disease, but if you have an autoimmune disease, the body attacks healthy cells thinking that they're harmful to the body. There are many methods the body uses to protect itself, one of which is swelling or inflammation around a joint. Juvenile chronic arthritis occurs when your body creates inflammation in its joints even when it doesn't need to. This leads to the pain and stiffness your child feels.

Treatment Options

Although there is no known cure, the condition's symptoms can be controlled and reduced to prevent long-term damage. A treatment plan typically aims to control the symptoms of arthritis and allow your child to lead an active life. Children are often given a mixture of physiotherapy and drugs, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), to reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces your child's pain and stiffness.

While your child should follow their treatment plan to avoid long-term damage to their joints, wrist supports can be used alongside their treatment to reduce the pain and swelling that is a part of the condition. This helps your child enjoy life more fully, which is particularly important for their mental health and well-being.

Juvenile Chronic Arthritis at Wrist Supports

At Wrist Supports, we have carefully selected products that have been designed to alleviate the symptoms associated with juvenile chronic arthritis. Whether you're looking for a brace to use so your child can play with their friends or you're looking for a support they can use around the house, our choice of wrist supports will help your child feel excited about life again.

Please visit our Wrist Supports for Juvenile Chronic Arthritis to see our full range of braces for juvenile arthritis.

Call us now: 020 7501 0590 Mon - Fri / 9:00am - 5:00pm
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