According to experts, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is more than a single disease, and is in fact, a group of diseases that manifests as chronic joint inflammation. If there is inflammation of the joint as well as stiffness for a period exceeding six weeks in a child not older than sixteen years of age, it will be termed as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It will result in redness; swelling, warmth as well as soreness of the joints which are caused by inflammation while any joint can be affected and inflammation can inhibit mobility of the affected joints.
Can Even Affect Internal Organs
It is also possible for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to affect internal organs, and the number of joints involved, symptoms as well as presence or absence of antibodies will all determine how this condition is classified. Furthermore, this condition is an autoimmune disorder, though doctors cannot exactly determine why the immune system goes awry in children having such a condition.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis may be a two-step process that is thought to be due to the genetic makeup of the child as well as environmental factors such as viruses that trigger this condition. The most common symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are persistent joint pain, and swelling as well as stiffness that get worst in the mornings or after taking a nap. Pain can limit the movement of the affected joint and is very common to knees as well as joints in the hands as well as feet.
The earliest signs of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are limping in the morning due to an affected knee, and there can also be high fever as well as a small amount of skin rash, which may appear as well as disappear rapidly. In a few instances, internal organs such as the heart, and in extremely rare instances, the lungs may also be involved.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis requires special expertise on the part of rheumatologists for them to be able to provide proper care for patients, and pediatric rheumatologists are trained in pediatrics as well as rheumatology to be able to handle the complexities of children having arthritis and other rheumatoid diseases.
The aim of those that treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is to preserve high levels of physical as well as social functioning, and to help patients enjoy a good quality of life. In order to achieve these aims, medications are required as also physical therapy. There are several types of medications available including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, corticosteroids, and biological agents that can be used to treat children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.