Juvenile Arthritis: What To Look Out For

Arthritis is one of the challenges of growing old, or so most of us believe. Perhaps we even understand arthritis to be part of the natural ageing process, where the body shows the wear and tear of a life well-lived. However, what is lesser known is the real possibility of juvenile arthritis; a painful condition that has a massive impact on a child’s wellbeing.

Every parent should be informed about the possibility of juvenile arthritis, so they are better able to judge the symptoms if they show themselves. All too often, cases of juvenile arthritis are left untreated as the parents literally don’t consider the condition a possibility. It is vital that the profile of this condition is raised in a public health forum, in order to prevent needless suffering and real damage to childhood wellness.

Joint pain can be a common complaint among children, and often enough these are just ‘growing pains’. However, prolonged pain in the joints accompanied by swelling can be a tell-tale sign of a more serious problem. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a common feature of the kind of joint pain experienced by juvenile arthritics is that it is worse in the morning upon waking and improves during the day. One would expect the pain to be accompanied by swelling in the lymph nodes as well as the painful joints. Some children complain of a sensation of heat in their joints, and muscle weakness in the surrounding areas.

Of course, sustained pain in the joints is the main clue to watch out for when assessing the health of your child. However, other wellbeing problems are likely to accompany such a condition, in the areas of both physical and mental wellness. Some children experience a high fever accompanied by a light pink rash – such instances of fever will be extreme and short-lived. A sufferer of juvenile arthritis may also display behavioural problems such as apathy, fatigue or irritability. It is a lot of pressure for a child to stay in constant physical pain, and, understandably, there will be a knock-on effect from this. As a parent, stay ever-vigilant, and address any of your child’s complaints seriously.


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