Juvenile idiopathic arthritis treatment
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What is juvenile idiopathic Arthritis?
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common type of arthritis found in children under the age of 16. It is an autoimmune disease caused by the body attacking itself. In juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the immune system attacks the synovium (joint linings), resulting in painful and swollen joints.
The term “idiopathic” means unknown as the causes of this disease are unknown. There are six different types of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. If left untreated, this disease can destroy cartilage and bones and cause harm to other parts of the body, including the eyes, lungs and heart. While there is no cure for the disease, it is possible to manage the symptoms and even achieve remission.
Symptoms and causes
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis causes painful and swollen joints that can appear red, especially in hands, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. Many children experience stiffness when getting up in the morning or after staying in one position for an extended period of time. They may also develop a rash, experience loss of appetite, have a high fever or be fatigued.
Eye problems are common in juvenile idiopathic arthritis as well, including blurred vision and dry eyes. Children may experience one or more of the six different forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, such as polyarthritis which affects more than five joints or psoriatic arthritis. Most patients experience periods of flares and remission of varying length.
Researchers are not sure why certain children develop juvenile idiopathic arthritis. While there is no cure, it is possible to achieve remission with early, aggressive treatment. Treatment often includes prescription as well as over the counter drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and analgesics such as acetaminophen. Low-impact exercise is recommended, such as walking, swimming or biking.
A diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains may be beneficial; the “Mediterranean” diet is recommended as anti-inflammatory. Children should get enough rest. Procedures such as massage and acupuncture are also known to help alleviate symptoms. Some children may benefit from surgery if their condition is severe.
Treating juvenile idiopathic Arthritis
FAQs about disease
Is osteoarthritis a disability?Osteoarthritis is a chronic and painful condition that can be disabling as it affects the ability to perform daily tasks or work. The condition is classified as a disability when there’s anatomical deformity of joints, a failing range of motion, and increased pain that prevents doing basic tasks like walking. Being a type of arthritis, Osteoarthritis is the reduction of cartilage between the joints that causes friction between the bones that can result in the formation of bone spurs and cysts and usually affects the hands, hips, knees, feet, and compression of the spinal nerves or spinal cord.
Is osteoarthritis hereditary?While Osteoarthritis cannot be directly linked to a specific cause, there are common factors that have been identified. It is possible that it’s genetic where multiple family members suffer from the condition. If your grandparents, parents, and siblings have Osteoarthritis, there is an increased risk of you getting it, particularly with genetic joint defects. If you do have symptoms of joint pain, it’s important to gather medical history from your family before seeing a doctor as diagnosis relies on this information together with a physical examination. Other causes are also likely such as years of sport that can affect joints.
Can I claim pip for osteoarthritis?If you are medically diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and it’s affecting your ability to work and earn an income, you may be able to claim Social Security disability benefits. People aged 16 years and over may qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as a benefit to provide support in covering additional costs due to a long-term health condition or disability. PIP is paid when Osteoarthritis has a disabling effect on everyday life where load-bearing joints, like hands, feet, hips, knees, and spine are affected. It is a progressive joint disease that can worsen over time.
Can osteoarthritis spread?The risk of developing Osteoarthritis increases with age. Many people over 60 years are likely to have some form of the condition with varying degrees of severity. It is an incurable, degenerative disease that progresses through four stages, which can take years or decades to spread. While the progression of Osteoarthritis cannot be stopped, early detection and therapy can slow the rate of degeneration. It usually starts in one large joint and typically spreads to other joints over time. One affected joint can alter movement and mobility, which in turn can affect the alignment of other joints predisposing them to Osteoarthritis.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?Symptoms of Osteoarthritis slowly develop over time and initially start with pain and stiffness that doesn’t go away. Affected joints start hurting during or after movement and stiffness will be especially noticeable in the mornings or after a period of inactivity. Joints feel tender when any pressure is applied on or near the affected area. You may also start noticing a limited range of movement and loss of flexibility. Bone spurs, swelling and a grating sensation around the joints start occurring as the condition get worse. This is accompanied by popping or crackling sounds when moving the joints.