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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis - Treatment Overview

Treatment goals for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) are to reduce your child's joint pain and to prevent disability. Physical therapy and medicine are the basis of medical treatment for JIA.

Treatment depends on the type and severity of JIA. Even when JIA is uncomplicated, an affected child may need years of medical treatment or checkups. To make sure that your child's care is appropriate for the stage of disease, work closely with the medical team. Learn as much as you can about your child's disease and treatments. And stay on schedule with medicine and exercise.

Your doctor will set up a treatment team. It may include a pediatrician, an ophthalmologist, a rheumatologist, and a physical and/or occupational therapist.

Physical therapy

Treatment may include:

To learn more, see Home Treatment and Other Treatment.

Medicines

Medicine will likely be an important part of your child's treatment.

To learn more, see Medications.

Follow-up

Treatment depends on the type and severity of JIA. Even when JIA is uncomplicated, an affected child may need years of medical treatment or checkups. To make sure that your child's care is appropriate for the stage of disease, work closely with the medical team. Learn as much as you can about your child's disease and treatments. And stay on schedule with medicine and exercise.

Inflammatory eye disease may develop in children with JIA. This form of eye disease generally has no symptoms and can lead to a permanent decrease in vision or blindness. So part of your child's treatment plan should be regular checkups with an ophthalmologist.

What to think about

Surgery may be used in a very small number of children with JIA who have severe joint deformity, loss of movement, or pain.

Some children with JIA have no appetite, so malnutrition becomes a medical concern. If your child has little appetite for food, see a nutritionist for help.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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