Skip to main content

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...

How to Manage Hand Pain at Work

You probably don’t think about how amazing your hands are—until they hurt. Hand pain certainly has the potential to disrupt your life, from making it a struggle to button your shirt or to perform your job.
I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

If you’re of a certain age, and your back starts—and keeps on—hurting, you may wonder if it could be arthritis. Understanding the underlying cause of your back pain is one step in learning to manage it.
3 Reasons Not to Ignore Abnormal Gait

3 Reasons Not to Ignore Abnormal Gait

For most people, walking doesn’t require much thought. But, if you have issues with your gait, simply walking to your mailbox can be a problem. In this post, we explain why you shouldn’t ignore issues with walking.
Myths and Facts About Spinal Surgery

Myths and Facts About Spinal Surgery

For some people, spinal surgery is especially worrisome. Often, we find that’s because people have heard myths related to spinal surgery. We are here to dispel those myths and present some facts that should put you at ease. 
Surprising Ways Arthritis Can Impact Your Health

Surprising Ways Arthritis Can Impact Your Health

The common connection among all types of arthritis is that your joints are involved. Regardless of the kind of arthritis you have, you’re likely to be surprised by how it affects other elements of your overall health in addition to your joints.