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Juvenile Arthritis

 

What is it?

According to the Arthritis Foundation, Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a term that refers to any form of arthritis or arthritis-related conditions that develop in individuals less than 18 years old. The word arthritis means “joint inflammation” but JA can also have effects on the eyes, skin, and GI system. The most common type of JA is called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). JIA is diagnosed as the swelling of one or more joints for a duration of 6 weeks or more. The cause of JIA is unknown. The condition is not contagious and research has ruled out development by toxins, foods, allergies, or vitamin deficiencies.

How does it feel?

Common Symptoms Include:

  • pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness of joints
  • limited range of motion
  • joint contracture from holding a joint in a flexed position for an extended period of time
  • damage to cartilage or bone
  • shortened stature from altered bone growth

How can a Physical Therapist help?

Although management of JA/JIA varies with each case, the primary goals are usually the same: control inflammation, relieve pain, prevent joint damage, and maximize functional abilities. Maintaining physical activity is vital way to achieve many of these goals. Physical Therapists can utilize both traditional land physical therapy and aquatic physical therapy in order to maximize effectiveness and reduce muscle strength and functional losses due to the pain caused by JA/JIA.

Suffering from aches and pains? Call today for your free 15 minute pain assessment with ProCare Physical Therapy at 414-858-1361 or email us at painfree@procarept.org.

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