Pediatric rheumatoid arthritis is a term that has been coined to describe arthritis that occurs in children under the age of 16. Symptoms of pediatric rheumatoid arthritis are very similar to the one that occurs in adults. Some of those symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffening of the joints. Heath experts have divided pediatric rheumatoid arthritis into three other categories: Oligoarthritis, polyarthritis and systemic. Oligoarthritis describes arthritis that affects five or fewer joints. Polyarthritis occurs when six or more joints are affected. Systemic is also referred to as Still’s disease is characterized by swelling and inflammation of the internal organs.
Pediatric Rheumatoid Arthritis – The Causes
Most children who suffer from pediatric rheumatoid arthritis will have times when the symptoms flare up and then disappear. Doctors believe that this condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder, so there is no way to prevent it. Race and Sex are two risk factors that predispose a person to developing pediatric rheumatoid arthritis. It occurs more often in girls than in boys. It also affects white children more than black or Asian children. If left untreated, pediatric juvenile arthritis can cause serious complications. It can cause the eyes to become inflammed, which can lead to conditions such as glaucoma, cataract and blindness. Pediatric juvenile arthritis can also stunt growth because it interferes with the development of the child’s bones.
Pediatric Rheumatoid Arthritis – Possible treatment?
In order to prevent those complications from occurring, this condition has to be treated early. Children who suffer from juvenile arthritis will be referred to a specialist for more testing. The specialist will perform a thorough exam, paying close attention to rashes, eye inflammation, joint swelling and any signs of internal organ swelling. Doctors usually focus on relieving the pain and helping a child live a relatively normal life when prescribing a treatment. They usually prescribe a medication that will help alleviate the pain and reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids, Tumor necrosis factor blockers, Disease Modifying- Antirheumatic drugs and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed to treat pediatric rheumatoid arthritis.
A doctor may also recommend that a child see a physical therapist and/or occupational therapist. A physical therapist or occupational therapist can help make it easier for a child to perform his or her daily activities. They can also recommend exercises that are safe to do. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is severe in some children and the doctor may have no choice but to perform a surgery.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a frustrating condition for anyone to live with, but for a child it can be even more difficult. Fortunately, there are things that parents and caregivers can do to make this condition easier to live with. One of the things that they can do is work with the child’s school to make sure that they make the necessary accommodations for him or her. Another thing that parents and caregivers can do to help make pediatric rheumatoid arthritis easier for the child to live with is make sure that he or she eats a healthy diet. It is essential that the child get enough calcium, as well as other nutrients in his or her diet because his or her bones are already weak.
Parents and caregivers also need to make sure that the child engages in regular exercise. Exercise has been shown to help improve muscle strength and joint flexibility, which will make living with pediatric rheumatoid arthritis a-lot easier. There are very few home remedies that would work for rheumatoid arthritis. However, taking a hot bath or shower can help soothe the pain and relieve the stiffness. Applying a hot pack to the affected areas would also help relieve the pain and stiffness caused by Pediatric Rheumatoid Arthritis as it improves circulation.
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