Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a form of arthritis which occurs in childhood. Also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, it causes joint inflammation that is very different from the adult version of rheumatoid arthritis.
JRA is found in children, under the age of 17, who experience joint lining (synovium) inflammation. This inflammation can:
- strike any joint
- hit internal organs
- cause permanent joint damage
The cause for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it’s classification is an autoimmune disease.
One early sign of JRA is morning limping. Some other symptoms to be on look out for include:
- chronic fever
- reduction in activity
- sudden joint swelling
- favoring an arm or leg
- daybreak joint stiffness
- fine motor skills difficulty
- sore wrist, finger, knee, hip, neck
- weakness in muscles around inflamed joints
- rashes that suddenly appear, then disappear
JRA affects each child differently. For example, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis limping and joint symptoms may:
- come and go
- be subtle or obvious
- only cause a single flare up
- develop in one area and then another
Some children suffer symptoms, like chronic fever, that seem to never go away. And this childhood arthritis has the potential to cause growth problems as well.
Before JRA is diagnosed, other similar symptomatic conditions will be ruled out first, such as:
Medication treatments are available to decrease juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms of chronic fever, limping and joint stiffness. In addition, they’ll alter the disease process in an effort to prevent permanent joint damage.
Regular exercise is advised to:
- preserve movement
- reduce swelling and pain
- maintain range of motion
- keep muscles strong and healthy
Muscles kept strong and healthy help support and protect joints.
Whenever you child is in pain, it’s natural that they’ll refrain from moving. Gently nudge them toward movement to sustain their total health.
And a diet rich in fruits and vegetable, and lower in animal products, have offered some natural JRA relief.