July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is an awful condition and I started having arthritis in my early thirties and it is definitely progressing. I have arthritis pain all over my body, which makes me think how bad it would be to get arthritis as a young child. This awareness month makes it possible to share about this condition so that people can know what’s going on with these patients.
Juvenile Arthritis is a name that covers all kinds of rheumatic diseases in children ages up to 16. Most children or teens with arthritis have an autoimmune or autoinflammatory conditions. Here are the most common types:
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
- Juvenile Lupus
- Juvenile Myositis
- Juvenile Scleroderma
All autoimmune disorders have immune systems that backfire and attack healthy cells. The joints are attacked and the joints then swell and hurt. The skin may have rashes. Eyes can become very dry or be sensitive to sunlight. Organs can also be attacked.
Treatments include medications, physical therapy, mind-body therapy, acupuncture, massage, or other complimentary treatments. When a child has Juvenile Arthritis, the parents must work with the doctors or therapists to organize all appointments. It can easily control a family’s schedule and create a lot of stress.
Just like any other medical condition there should be self-care for the carer as well as the patient. Arthritis support groups can be helpful and teens can participate with the Foundation’s iPeer2Peer program.
The Arthritis Foundation works to assist the family of a patient by suggesting support groups and events that will help them to not feel alone. Great events like a JA Conference or JA Camp will allow everyone to get on the same page and feel like they’re normal. Anything that helps a child or teen feel better and have a more normal/functional life is a good thing.
@2022, copyright Lisa Ehrman
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my experiences and opinions and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult with your personal physician.