As the name implies, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the common arthritis in children. Most of the cases, the arthritis occurs for long term and hence it is chronic.
The exact cause of JRA is not known. It can be due to lowered immunity level or autoimmune problem in which the body will produce antibodies for attacking its own cells.
Children below 16 years are affected by this problem. There are 3 types of JRA.
Systemic JRA is one which gives joint pain and swelling throughout the body.
Polyarticular JRA is one in which special joints like legs and arms, jaw and neck are affected with swelling and pain.
Pauciarticular JRA is the type which affects 4 or lesser joints and it occurs in ankles, knees, wrists and sometimes on the eyes.
Some of the symptoms of JRA are stiffness in joint, swelling and pain, difficulty in walking or using the joints. Fever will occur if the child suffers from systemic JRA along with skin rashes throughout the body. In some children, JRA will affect the eyes causing swelling, change in vision, sensitivity and redness in eyes.
Treatment for JRA depends on the general health condition and the intensity of problem of the child.
Usually doctors would recommend NSAID medicines like Ibuprofen and omaproxen to control the symptoms.
Children with severe problem with fever and rashes will be given separate medicines for preventing and controlling it. In such cases, disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs are given. Ensure that the child is kept active otherwise the joints may become weak and partially immobile. Exercising daily will help to give flexibility to the joints. Walking and swimming are the best recommended therapies for JRA but has to be done after consulting with doctor.
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