Arthritis – the term often conjures images of elderly individuals struggling with joint pain and stiffness. However, what many don't realise is that arthritis isn't exclusive to adults. Kids can get arthritis too, and it's more common than you might think
 
In this blog, we'll look into the world of juvenile arthritis, exploring its types, symptoms, and treatments, while debunking the misconception that arthritis is solely an age-related condition. 

What are the different types of arthritis? 

Arthritis comes in various forms, affecting both young and old alike. Among adults, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most prevalent. 
 
Osteoarthritis involves the gradual loss of cartilage in the joints, leading to pain and discomfort as bones rub together. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by an immune response that causes inflammation in the joint lining, often accompanied by symptoms like fever and fatigue. 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) 

While these types of arthritis are more commonly associated with adults, they aren't exclusive to them. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a condition affecting approximately 1 in 1000 children, making it more common than many realise. 
 
The term "idiopathic" suggests that the cause is unknown, but there are as many as seven types of childhood arthritis, each with its own set of symptoms and challenges. 

Recognising JIA: Signs and symptoms 

Signs and symptoms of JIA can vary, but some common indicators include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and in some cases, fever, swollen lymph nodes, or a rash. Recognising these symptoms early is important for prompt diagnosis and treatment. 

Treatment approaches for JIA. 

Treatment for JIA typically involves a combination of strategies aimed at relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and preserving joint function. This may include medication, physical therapy, and dietary adjustments tailored to the individual's needs. 

The role of nutrition in managing arthritis 

Speaking of diet, nutrition plays a significant role in managing arthritis symptoms, regardless of age. 
 
Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like dark leafy greens, green tea, garlic, and oily fish can help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Conversely, limiting or avoiding foods high in fried fats, dairy, sugars, and excessive wheat can help minimise symptoms and improve overall well-being. 

Dispelling misconceptions about arthritis 

It's essential to dispel the misconception that arthritis is solely an age-related condition. While advancing age can increase the risk of developing certain types of arthritis, it's not the sole determining factor. Lifestyle choices, genetic predisposition, and even childhood conditions like JIA can all contribute to the onset of arthritis at any age. 

Takeaway message 

Changing our perspective on arthritis can have a profound impact on our overall health and well-being. Rather than viewing it as an inevitable consequence of aging, we should recognise that arthritis can affect anyone, regardless of age, and take proactive steps to manage and mitigate its effects. 

Seek medical advice 

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of arthritis, regardless of age, don't hesitate to seek medical advice. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can make a significant difference in managing symptoms and improving quality of life. 
 
 
Massage can help to manage the pain associated with arthritis. Contact our friendly team today to book an appointment
Tagged as: arthiritis, children, health
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