Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis - Symptoms
The most common symptoms of all forms of
juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) include:
- Joint pain and swelling. They may come and go,
but they are most often persistent.
- Joint stiffness in the
- Irritability, refusal to walk, or protecting or guarding
a joint. You might notice your child limping or trying not to use a certain
- Often unpredictable changes in symptoms, from periods with no
symptoms (remission) to flare-ups.
Even though pain is a common symptom of JIA, your child may not be able to describe the pain. Or he or she may
be used to the pain. To know if your child is in pain, look for changes such as stiff movements, rubbing a joint or muscle, or avoiding movement.
Other symptoms vary depending on
which type of JIA your child has.
Systemic JIA can cause fever spikes and rash.
- The fever usually reaches
103 °F (39.5 °C) to
106 °F (41 °C) once or twice a day. It falls to normal between spikes.
- The rash is spotty, flat, and sometimes faint red or pink. It may occur
with the fever. It may be on the torso, face, palms, soles of the feet, and
armpits. The rash often comes and goes. It may appear late in the day or in the
early morning. It may also be brought on by warm baths or by rubbing or
scratching the skin.
Other conditions with symptoms similar
to JIA include
growing pains, overuse, injury, bone infection, and
certain inflammatory diseases. Many conditions can cause painful,
stiff joints in children. Most often, occasional joint pain in children is
related to an injury or aggravating factors, such as repetitive overuse in
sports activities. JIA is a fairly uncommon cause of these symptoms.