Arthritis is one of the most common diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. Many of us are aware of this disease, but most of us are not aware that arthritis can affect children as well. Children can get arthritis just like adults and when children get arthritis, it is known as juvenile arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is basically a group of conditions that affect the joints. Arthritis is caused by the inflammation of joints and is accompanied by a wide range of symptoms such as pain, stiffness of the joints, reduced movement, swelling in the joints, redness in the joints and weight loss. Many researchers suggest that coping with pain is the hardest part of managing arthritis. Arthritis is associated with two types of pain:
Acute pain – Acute pain is basically for a short period of time and this type of pain can usually be relieved from medication.
- Chronic pain – Chronic pain is a long-lasting pain that can have a significant impact on the quality of life. Managing this type of pain is highly important for improving the quality of life.
What is Juvenile arthritis?
When children get arthritis, it is known as juvenile arthritis. Juvenile arthritis can affect children of all ages and according to the studies, a large number of people under the age of 18 are suffering from juvenile arthritis. Juvenile arthritis is associated with a large number of symptoms and some of the most common symptoms are as follows:
- Excessive clumsiness
- High fever
- Skin rash
- Swelling in lymph nodes
- Limping in the morning
According to the researchers, the exact cause of juvenile arthritis is not known but it is believed that an inappropriate response of the immune system can play a role in the development of this disease. Normally, the immune system in the body acts as a defense system that protects the body from virus, bacterias and other harmful substances. But sometimes the immune system fails to function normally. Juvenile arthritis occurs when the immune system in the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body. There are some pieces of evidence that suggest that environmental factors such as virus and infections trigger the onset of juvenile arthritis.
Types of juvenile arthritis
Primarily there are five types of juvenile arthritis.
1. Systemic arthritis
Systemic arthritis, also known as Still’s disease is associated with a huge burden for the children and for the families affected. It affects the entire body of the child and is characterized by symptoms like fever, rash, inflammation of the lining of the heart and anemia. It is a chronic type of juvenile arthritis that is associated with long term complications.
Oligoarthritis is one of the most common types of juvenile arthritis and in this type of arthritis affect four joints at most. It is believed that one in every three children having arthritis have oligoarthritis. This causes problems with walking and causes extreme pain. It has been observed that females are more likely to develop this of arthritis as compared to males.
Polyarthritis is a condition in which the inflammation occurs to at least four joints. It affects multiple joints at the same time. There are multiple potential causes of polyarthritis but it is strongly associated with an immune-mediated attack on the joints. Some common symptoms of polyarthritis include fever, pain, swollen joints, weight loss, and lethargy.
4. Enthesitis related arthritis
Enthesitis related arthritis is a condition which is defined as an inflammation of the enthesis. In this type of juvenile arthritis, anthesis is also affected along with the joints. It can be a serious condition that is associated with a long-lasting effect on a child.
5. Juvenile psoriatic arthritis
Juvenile psoriatic is a condition in which inflammation of joints occurs along with the development of disease known as psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes itchy and dry patches.
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