Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis in children and adolescents. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling.
The symptoms of JIA can vary from child to child and may include:
- Pain and swelling in one or multiple joints
- Limitation of joint motion
- Stiffness, especially in the morning or after being inactive
- Decreased activity levels or trouble with usual physical activities
- Low-grade fever
JIA is diagnosed through a combination of a thorough medical history, a physical examination, and laboratory tests. There is no cure for JIA, but it can be managed with medication, physical therapy, and other treatments. The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and inflammation, maintain joint function, and improve quality of life.
Treatment options for JIA may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Biologic drugs
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Assistive devices (canes, braces, etc.)
It’s important for children with JIA to receive regular medical care to monitor their condition and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. With appropriate treatment, many children with JIA are able to lead active, productive lives.