Children Can Suffer From Arthritis Too!

While it is not commonly known, children and teens can suffer from arthritis, too. The term Juvenile Arthritis (JA) refers to many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can affect certain joints, bones, muscles, cartilage, and other connective tissues of the body, and limit or impede physical movement. Juvenile Arthritis develops in children 16 or younger.

Although many of these JA conditions share symptoms like pain, joint swelling, and redness, they also differ from each other in many other ways.

Kawasaki Disease:

This condition generally affects infants and young children, and includes symptoms like a visible rash or swelling around the hands and feet, followed by peeling around the fingers and toes. This condition is usually followed by heart complications because of the swelling of the blood vessels.

Fibromyalgia:

This syndrome can cause stiffness and chronic pain, as well as fatigue and disrupted sleep. Fibromyalgia is often diagnosed after puberty.

Juvenile Dermatomyositis:

This condition causes muscle weakness in the trunk, shoulders, and upper legs. It also causes a skin rash on the eyelids and knuckles.

Juvenile Lupus:

Lupus can cause symptoms like a rash that bridges the nose and cheeks, a rash on the neck, sensitivity to sunlight, and pain in the joints or chest.

Juvenile Scleroderma:

Scleroderma describes a group of conditions in which the skin tightens and hardens. In some cases, the condition is localized in one area of the skin. In other cases, the condition is considered systemic and it spreads to internal organs.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA):

This is considered the most common form of arthritis around children and teens. In itself, JIA is an umbrella term that covers several conditions, such as: oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, systemic, enthesitis-related, juvenile psoriatic arthritis, among others.

JIA begins before age 16 and involves swelling in one or more joints that lasts at least 6 weeks.

If your child is exhibiting some of the symptoms mentioned in this article, visit a specialist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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