What is Juvenile Arthritis?
Juvenile arthritis (JA), also referred to as pediatric rheumatic disease, is the term used to describe arthritis in children under the age of 16. In the United States, an estimated 300,000 kids and teens are affected by JA.
Arthritis is a group of more than 100 diseases. Arthritis is one kind of rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are defined by The Mayo Clinic (a nonprofit American academic medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research), as autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that cause your immune system to attack your joints, muscles, bones and organs. Most kinds of JA are autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases. Symptoms of JA include joint inflammation, swelling, pain and tenderness, but some types of JA have few or no joint symptoms or only affect the skin and internal organs.
What Is the Cause of Juvenile Arthritis?
The cause of JA is unknown, however certain factors have been seen to possibly play a apart in the cause of JA. The factors that may play a role include:
The immune system
Genes and family history
Nervous system problems
Excessive wear and tear and stress on the body
The effect of some hormones on the body
Juvenile Arthritis Facts
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) more often affects children younger than age 15.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) occurs more often in girls.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) (a bone disease) is more common in boys.
Treatment options for JA include medicines, heat and cold, massage, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery.
JA has no known cure, however an early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, can be effective in reducing symptoms to little or no disease activity.
1. “Juvenile Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases.” Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, Stanford Children's Health, https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=juvenile-arthritis-and-other-rheumatic-diseases-90-P01713.
2. “Juvenile Arthritis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments: Arthritis Foundation.” Arthritis Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/juvenile-arthritis.
3. “Rheumatic Diseases.” Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/mankato/services-and-treatments/rheumatology/rheumatic-diseases.