Sometimes children complain about joint aches in knees, toes, shoulders, and fingers. This could be due to a variety of reasons. In some instances, if your child’s joints are swollen for more than six weeks, they may be experiencing juvenile arthritis. It can cause swelling, joint pain, stiffness, and more. What are the first signs of juvenile arthritis? Read along to know more about juvenile arthritis symptoms, types, signs, and treatments.
Juvenile Arthritis Types
The types of juvenile arthritis are classified based on symptoms, types, and number of joints. Some of the juvenile arthritis types are specified below.
This type affects children with both skin disorders psoriasis and arthritis. Children with this disease have swollen fingers and toes with changes in nails. In some cases, small and large joints are affected.
This type of juvenile arthritis affects less than 4 to 5 joints in the body. About 50% of children have this type and mostly visible among girls younger than 8 years old. In the first six months, the oligoarticular affects one to four joints. Later, it will extend to other joints. Eye inflammation is the main cause of oligoarticular juvenile arthritis.
It affects more than five joints such as the jaw, neck, knees, hands, and ankles in the first six months. Polyarticular commonly visible among girls than boys. Children with IgM rheumatoid factor in their blood have a more severe form of this disease.
This arthritis causes limited motion, swelling, and pain in at least one joint. About 20% of children experience systemic arthritis. Inflammation of organs such as lymph nodes, liver, heart, and rashes are the symptoms of systemic disease.
Juvenile Arthritis Symptoms
Symptoms or signs of Juvenile arthritis affect each child differently and it last for a specific period. The most common signs of this disease include:
Joint swelling is common among child-infected juvenile arthritis. Young children may feel tired and irritated due to the swelling. This disease also causes swelling in lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
In certain cases, children feel more tired and have a high fever. Also, light pink rashes occur to them due to fever.
Eye problems are visible in some children with juvenile arthritis. You can treat this easily by visiting an ophthalmologist.
Apart from these, fatigue, stiffness, slow growth, decreased appetite, poor weight gain, blurred vision, irritability, and more are other juvenile arthritis symptoms.
Treatments for Juvenile Arthritis
Most treatments for juvenile arthritis are designed to relieve pain, swelling, and maintain the growth of joints. Juvenile arthritis treatment will depend on the child’s condition. The following methods are used to treat juvenile arthritis.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These drugs help treat swelling and pain. It includes products like naproxen and ibuprofen that are used to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Corticosteroids: This is the strongest medication to treat juvenile arthritis. Before the proper treatment, steroids are given as injections to the infected joints. A few side effects of taking corticosteroids include weight gain, poor growth, and weakening of bones.
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs: Methotrexate is the most commonly used drug that stops the progression of juvenile arthritis. Sometimes, it takes weeks or months to relieve symptoms.
If your child facing joint pain and swelling for more than a week, take him/her to a healthcare provider. You must take the necessary remedies and precautions as per the advice of your doctor.