Myths and Facts About Juvenile Arthritis

About 1 in 250 children in the United States has juvenile arthritis, even though many people tend to think of arthritis as a disease only older people get. Arthritis can be particularly difficult for children, as it may prevent them from doing normal childhood things, like participating in sports or simply playing with their friends. 

At Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates, our team understands the impact of juvenile arthritis, both physical and psychological. Our goal is to help your child live their life to the fullest, and manage the issues that come with a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. In this post, we present some of the myths associated with this childhood disease. 

Myth: There’s only one type of juvenile arthritis 

Whether in children or adults, the term “arthritis” refers to numerous diseases that affect the joints. These conditions all cause inflammation, swelling, pain, and lack of mobility in the joints, but they’re separate diseases with various underlying causes. 

The most common type of arthritis in children is idiopathic juvenile arthritis, which means no cause is obvious. Children can develop rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and numerous other forms of arthritis.

Myth: Children outgrow arthritis

Although it’s true that some children do outgrow arthritis, many do not. It’s better to understand your condition and be prepared for the possibility it could be lifelong than to experience the disappointment of not outgrowing your disease. 

It’s also possible for a child to reach permanent remission, which isn’t the same as being cured or outgrowing arthritis, but it does mean that the disease is no longer causing damage to your joints. 

Myth: Children with arthritis shouldn’t exercise

When your child is in pain, your first instinct may be to keep them still, so they can rest and heal. With arthritis, exercise and activity can strengthen the muscles and other structures that support the joints. 

Our experts can help you and your child understand what exercises are safe, as well as how to go about getting strong enough to help the condition. Physical therapy may also be helpful. 

Fact: Treatment is improving

There’s no cure for juvenile arthritis, but there are clear advancements in treatments and care, meaning it’s more likely than ever that your child’s disease can reach permanent remission or their symptoms can be controlled. 

Treatment may be necessary even if your child reaches permanent remission, but long-term outcomes are continually improving as research into efficient treatments advances. 

Fact: Genes matter

There is a genetic component when it comes to juvenile arthritis, so if you have a family history of the disease, and your child has swollen or painful joints, you should discuss it with your pediatrician. 

Environmental factors also likely play a role, but scientists are unsure of what and how they are associated. 

Fact: Juvenile arthritis is often undiagnosed

Because arthritis is usually associated with age, it can be difficult for parents to recognize the symptoms. Children, too, may not realize something is amiss. Making diagnosis even more difficult is the fact that there aren’t any laboratory diagnostic tests available. 

If your child has joint pain, swelling, stiffness, especially in combination with fever, rash, or weight loss, schedule an appointment with a one of our specialists at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates.

You Might Also Enjoy...

A Closer Look at the Different Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is an enormous category of joint conditions, impacting millions of adults and children in the United States. In this post, we discuss arthritis as a diagnosis and describe a few of the more common types of joint issues.

Am I Eligible for Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy continues to show great promise in advancing patient care. Our doctors offer stem cell therapy in cases when it’s likely to improve healing. In this post, we consider who is most likely to benefit from this cutting-edge therapy.

What Problems Does the RICE Method Help?

You probably know about the RICE protocol — rest, ice, compression, elevation — but do you know when to use it? In this post, we describe the kinds of injuries RICE can help.

4 Things That May Be Causing Your Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of your spinal canal, can cause uncomfortable symptoms. If you have this condition, you may have questions, especially about why. What causes your spinal canal to be too narrow?

Understanding the Anatomy of Your Shoulder

Are you experiencing shoulder pain? The shoulder joint is remarkably complex, allowing the widest range of motion of any joint in your body. That complexity and range of motion result in many potential problems.