How is juvenile idiopathic arthritis diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask
questions about your child’s symptoms and past health and will do a physical
exam. Your child may also have blood tests and a urine test to look for signs
of the disease. If your child has the disease, these tests can help your doctor
find out which type it is.
How is it treated?
Your child’s treatment will be
based on the type of arthritis he or she has and how serious it is. The most
common treatment includes medicines to reduce pain and swelling
(NSAIDs), along with
physical therapy and often occupational therapy. Your child may also get shots of
steroid medicine into a joint to relieve swelling and
If these treatments don't help, then your child may be given
other medicines. Surgery to correct joint problems is only done in rare
Exercise is an important part of your child’s treatment.
Physical therapists can teach you and your child exercises to keep your child’s
muscles flexible and strong. Moving your child's painful joints through their
full range of motion keeps them from getting stiff or deformed. Many children
with the disease don't want to move painful joints. Your child may need your
help to keep doing daily physical therapy.
Even when juvenile
idiopathic arthritis is not a severe type, your child may still need long-term
treatment. To make sure that treatment is right for your child, work closely
with the medical team. Learn as much as you can about your child’s disease and
treatments. Stay on a schedule with your child’s medicines and exercise.
How do you cope with juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
Exercise, medicine, and assistive devices will
help your child get through each day as normally as possible. Assistive devices
are things that can help your child hold onto, open, or close things more
easily. A doorknob extender, used to open a door without twisting a wrist, is
one such device.
Children who have this disease need to balance
exercise and rest. They may need extra rest during the day to relax their
joints and keep up their energy. But be sure that your child gets enough
exercise. This will help keep joints strong and flexible.
relief exercises can help you and your child control joint pain caused by the
disease. Your child's doctor can help you set up a pain management plan. This
plan might include heat treatments, exercise, and a type of counseling called
cognitive-behavioral therapy. Breathing and relaxation
exercises can also help ease your child’s pain.
Frequently Asked Questions