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Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in children and results to swelling, unexplained rash, pain and stiffness of the joints and usually persists for months or even years. Some forms of rheumatoid arthritis can result to some complications such as inflammation in the eye and issues with growth.

Causes

Rheumatoid arthritis develops when the immune system attacks the synovium which is the lining that surrounds the joints. The inflammation will cause thickening of the synovium which can damage the cartilage and bone found within the joint. The tendons and ligaments that holds the joint together becomes weak and stretched and eventually the joint will lose its shape and moves out of alignment. Women are more susceptible to this condition than men.

Complications of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can cause uveitis also known as eye inflammation and if not treated properly, the person can develop cataracts, glaucoma and eventually blindness. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can slow down the development of a child.

Symptoms

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Stiffness of the joints, pain and swelling are usually severe in the morning.

  • Functioning of the joint becomes slow and there is limited range of motion due to swelling, pain and stiffness of the joints.
  • Stiffness of the joints, pain and swelling are usually severe in the morning.
  • Sometimes, the affected child may limp or favor one leg when the joints of the knee are affected.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can cause abnormal development of the joints and they appear twisted.
  • Muscle aches all over the body
  • Inflammation of the eye that can result to redness, pain and irritation in the eyes
  • Sometimes, a mild rash can develop and the lymph nodes are swollen
  • Weight loss
  • Children affected by juvenile rheumatoid arthritis tend to grow slowly

Treatment

  • Eat a well balanced diet, rich in vitamins, minerals and calcium to help in strengthening the bones and the joints.
  • Apply hot and cold compress on the affected joints in order to help lessen pain and swelling and stiffness of the joints. It also relaxes sore muscles and helps improve flexibility. Warm compress helps in the proper circulation of blood in the affected area and cold compress helps lessen severe pain. Another remedy is take warm baths to minimize pain and discomfort.
  • Use an electric blanket with a timer in order to minimize joint pain and stiffness that is usually severe in the morning. The timer should be turned on an hour before the child wakes up in the morning in order to help in warming up the joints and improvement of movement.
  • Perform regular exercises in order to stay fit and flexible and helps make the bones strong and tone the muscles. Exercises also help in the proper circulation of blood and functioning of the body.

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