The Different Types of Arthritis That Can Affect Children

The Different Types of Arthritis That Can Affect Children

The Different Types of Arthritis That Can Affect Children

Contrary to popular belief arthritis does not only develop in elderly people. It can affect anyone of any age, including children. In a recent study, The American College of Rheumatology estimated that 1 in every 1000 children will develop a condition called juvenile arthritis. Even then, the different types of arthritis that children will develop are vast making it impossible to prevent. Some of the most common types of juvenile arthritis are:

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

One of the most common types of arthritis affecting children is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). It is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis and the symptoms are joint pains and stiffness - very similar to adult arthritis. The symptoms in JRA however are apparent before the child reaches 16 years old. Treatment varies from child to child due to the varying severity of symptoms between children.

Systemic Onset JRA

This is another common form of juvenile arthritis and is one of the types of arthritis that can usually start off as a mild fever reaching temperatures of over 103 degrees. The fever will come and go in the early stages. It is commonly found that the fever will appear alongside a rash that also comes and goes. The resulting systemic JRA often does not happen when the fevers and rashes start but actually many years later. There are always exceptions however, and there are examples of cases where the arthritis pain was present at the same time as the fevers. Sytemic JRA not only affects joints by inflaming them, but it also can inflame the child's internal organs too. In many cases of systemic JRA, the child is anemic with a high white blood cell count. Treatment of this type of arthritis involves painkillers, other topical drugs, dietary monitoring and regular exercise.

Pauciarticular JRA

This is a relatively uncommon type of arthritis in children and less than half of all children who suffer from arthritis experience it. It tends to appear in more girls than boys but the reason for this is unknown. Pauciarticular JRA usually affects less than five joints in the entire body of the child. One side affect appears to be irreparable visual damage or recurring eye problems. Children who develop this form of arthritis under the age of 7 actually have the highest chance of full recovery.

Polyarticular JRA

This type of JRA is very similar to the Pauciarticular JRA above with the main difference being that it affects more than five joints in the body. This can affect children of any age. It mimics adult rheumatoid arthritis and is regularly treated in the same way; through the improvement of the child's diet, regular exercise, drugs, check ups and keeping as close to the child's ideal body weight as possible.