In this blog you will learn about juvenile arthritis, causes, sign, symptoms, tips to help your child with arthritis, and physical therapy.

Juvenile arthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects children younger than 16 years of age, lasting a few months or becoming a lifelong condition. The most frequently joints affected are knees, wrist, ankles, small joints of the hands and feet.

300.000 children in the United States are dealing with juvenile arthritis according to the American College of Rheumatology. 

Causes

The cause of juvenile arthritis is related to a disorder of the immune system. The job of the immune system is to protect the body from infection. The immune system attacks healthy joints causing juvenile arthritis.

Risk factors

Girls are more likely to get juvenile arthritis than boys.

Sign and Symptoms

  • Recurrent fever.
  • Sudden skin rash usually on the trunk, armpit, and groin area.
  • Joint inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  • Difficulty with walking, getting dressed, and playing.
  • Pain is worse with activity.
  • Morning stiffness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Eye irritation.

Note: Young children do not complain of pain, instead refuse to use the affected arm or leg.

How can I help my child with juvenile arthritis?

Children with juvenile arthritis will benefit from an active lifestyle to improve strength, relieve pain, improve mobility, and quality of life.

Introduce the child to four or five fun sports or activities, let them make the choice or

choose an exercise that the child enjoys and is gentle with the joints.

Here are good examples of activities that are safe and beneficial for kids with arthritis

  • Swimming. Improves mobility, strength, and is safe for the joints.
  • Cycling. Improves joint mobility, prevents joint stiffness, enhances strength, and balance.
  • Gentle yoga. Relieves pain, improves flexibility, calms the body and mind.
  • Daily family walk. Improves physical, emotional wellbeing, and strengthens the family bond.

How physical therapy helps kids with arthritis?

Physical therapy plays an important role in the management of juvenile arthritis. Physical therapy can relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve posture,  prevent long-term joint damage, and improve quality of life.

Techniques to help kids recover from juvenile arthritis include:

  • Manual therapy to relieve pain and correct muscle imbalances.
  • Therapeutic exercise to improve strength and promote good joint health.
  • Assisted stretching to maintain normal joint mobility and prevent joint stiffness.
  • Breathing techniques to promote relaxation and manage pain.
  • Postural reeducation to improve posture and balance.

If your child has arthritis and is going through so much pain call Dr. Alexandra Chaux at Chaux Physical Therapy: 805-203-9940, to make an appointment to help regain the quality of life the child deserves.

The information in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only, its content is provided based upon evidence-based medicine, knowledge, and experience as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).