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Arthritis in Children – Causes and Symptoms of Arthritis in Children

Arthritis in children is also known as juvenile arthritis as it causes severe joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Some children experience symptoms for a few months and others have symptoms for the rest of their lives. This disease causes rigidity of the muscles which results in eventual loss of mobility. Children are more vulnerable to this disease and the most common type of arthritis that children suffer from is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Causes of Juvenile arthritis

The exact cause is not known but research states that both environmental and hereditary factors play a major role.The cause of arthritis in children may depend on the type of arthritis the child is suffering from. There are 3 types of juvenile arthritis, they are rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The causes include:

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • It is a long lasting disease that affects joints in any part of the body.
  • The immune system gets affected and it mistakenly it attacks itself and the lining of the joint to swell.
  • The inflammation slowly spreads to the surrounding tissues and can damage the bone and the cartilage.
  • This is mainly caused by a bacterial infection and is related to rheumatic heart disease.

Gout

  • This a type of arthritis where a sudden attack of burning pain, swelling in a joint and stiffness, usually a big toe.
  • This is caused by too much uric acid in the blood that may form hard crystals in the joints.
  • If you are overweight and you drink too much alcohol or eat excess of meat and fish that have very high levels of chemicals called purines.

Other causes include

  • Sex: Juvenile arthritis is more common in girls.
  • Race: It appears to be more common in white children than in Asians.

Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

The symptoms include:

  • Pain: When the joint gets inflamed which makes the joint tender and sensitive that results in severe pain.
  • Swelling: Fluid gets collected in the joint which results in puffiness and this contributes to pain.
  • Stiffness: The joint gets harder and might have limited motion. Morning stiffness is the most common symptom.
  • Redness and Warmth: The joints may be warmer and more pink and red than the neighboring skin.

When to consult your doctor?

Take your child to the doctor if he or she has joint pain, stiffness or swelling. Do not delay if your child has fever especially. The doctor may start the treatment and help the child to maintain a normal physical and social activity. The doctor may use various strategies to relieve swelling, pain and they maintain the health of the child and prevent complications.

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