Treating and caring for juvenile arthritis

Signature Medical Group would like to recognize July as National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.

According to arthritis.org, about 300,000 children and their families in the United States are living with juvenile arthritis (JA) and related diseases.

Juvenile arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children and teens.

The various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, such as pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth. But each type of JA is distinct and has its own unique characteristics and how it affects the body.

At Signature Medical Group, our rheumatologists offer the latest treatment in juvenile arthritis. We’ll care for your child and teen in a comprehensive and compassionate way.

According to arthritis.com, no known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop JA. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition to juvenile arthritis, which means the combination of genes a child receives from his or her parents may cause the onset of JA when triggered by other factors.

The most important step in properly treating juvenile arthritis is getting an accurate diagnosis from a Signature Medical Group doctor.

The diagnostic process can be long and detailed. There is no blood test that confirms any type of JA. In children, the key to diagnosis is a careful physical exam, along with a thorough medical history. Any specific tests a doctor may perform will depend upon the type of JA suspected.

There is no cure for juvenile arthritis, although with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, remission is possible. The goal of treatment is to relieve inflammation, control pain and improve the child’s quality of life. Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating.

If you have more questions, a Signature Medical Group specialist will be glad to help. Make an appointment today.