Pediatric clinics on recognizing juvenile arthritis

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Your pediatric clinic would like to inform you that July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or childhood arthritis, affects over 250,000 children in the U.S. alone. In most cases, it isn’t very much like the arthritis that affects older people. Although there is some debate about what triggers it, most experts believe JIA is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the joints, and that it is at least partly associated with certain genes.

JIA begins before the age of sixteen. Children with JIA suffer from some or all of the following symptoms:

• Tightening in the muscles and soft tissues.

• Bone erosion.

• Misalignment in the joints.

• Changes in growth.

Different kinds of juvenile arthritis

Juvenile arthritis can be polyarticular, oligoarticular or systemic. The difference is in the number of joints being affected. If only one joint is affected, it’s systemic. If it’s a few joints, including the knees, ankles or elbows, it’s oligoarticular. If it includes the hips, or more than four joints, it’s polyarticular. The systemic form is often accompanied by a rash or high fever. Blood tests can also help your pediatric clinic further understand what sort of arthritis they’re dealing with.

In some cases of oligoarticular or polyarticular arthritis, there may be eye inflammation. This is something your pediatric clinic or ophthalmologist will need to watch out for. There are other forms of JIA which your pediatric clinic will know about.

Managing juvenile arthritis

There is no cure for this condition, but the symptoms can be alleviated through medications and physical therapy. More severe cases may require splints and surgery. Children with juvenile arthritis should be encouraged to exercise as much as possible in order to lessen the effects of the condition.

There are a number of ways to help children fight the pain and exhaustion of JIA, including heat and cold therapy. Your pediatric clinic can help you learn these methods.

A pediatric clinic in Gastonia, NC

The best time to look for a pediatric clinic in your area is when your child is perfectly healthy, you are not in a hurry and you can afford to take the time to find the best. Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric clinic in a convenient location within the Charlotte area. It is one of the first medical practices for children in this area, and is owned and directed by its own physicians. It offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day, and has provided personalized service to three generations of families. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. If you need a pediatric clinic for your family, contact Gastonia Pediatrics today.