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Juvenile Arthritis: Putting Treatment into Action

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Living with arthritis can be hard at any age, but especially for young people and children. Children with juvenile arthritis will need to learn a language of terms most of their friends and even most adult will never have to learn. Although there is no known cause for the disease and no known cure, there are many treatments available.  Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating. Medications used to treat JA can be divided into two groups:

Treatment for juvenile arthritis

While there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, there are treatments to make things more bearable

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, corticosteroids and analgesics that help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and a newer subset known as biologic response modifiers (biologics). These medicines can alter the course of the disease, put it into remission and prevent joint damage.

Having a child with juvenile arthritis will affect your entire family. It’s very important to maintain a sense normalcy. Stay with normal routines for all of the children, allowing for some changes for the child with JA. Remember that how you deal with it determines how they deal with their condition.

Remember that JA is a part of your child’s life and your life; it’s not their whole life.

Children don’t have the language and coping skills that an adult will have, so you will have to help them develop the words and actions to express emotions about having JA.

Juvenile arthritis is a family diagnosis. You will experience many emotions too and that’s okay. You may experience sadness, guilt and anger at the situation. That is natural. Work through those feelings.

If there are other siblings in family, don’t forget that they are kids too. They will have deep feelings and questions, and even fears, too. They have needs and need a parent as much as the child with JA.

As a parent, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. If you’re married, take time away as a couple.

If you are living with arthritis at any age, LA Medical has many solutions available to make life easier and more comfortable. From safety equipment to power wheelchairs, see us first.

 

Sources: pediatriconcall.com, the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation

The Aches and Pains of Juvenile Arthritis

Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

The basics of juvenile arthritis

Arthritis is just the aches an stiffness that comes with getting old…right? Wrong. May is National Arthritis Month and a great time to talk about juvenile arthritis or JA.

Juvenile arthritis causes pain

Juvenile arthritis currently has no known cause or cure.

How common is JA? In 2007, the CDC estimated that 294,000 U.S. children under age 18 (or 1 in 250 children) have been diagnosed with arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.

What is arthritis? It’s not just one disease or ailment. Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement. This applies to all age groups.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 (or 18) and younger.  What causes JA? No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop the disease. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition, which means the combination of genes a child receives from family members may cause the onset of arthritis when triggered by other factors.

Did you know that JA numbers differ by state?  Childhood arthritis-related diagnoses range from a low of 500 children in Wyoming to a high of 38,000 children right here in California.

In addition, children diagnosed with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions account for approximately 827,000 doctor visits each year, including an average of 83,000 emergency department room visits.

Arthritis is painful for people of any age, but can be exceptionally hard for kids. If you know a young person with juvenile arthritis who would benefit from home medical equipment, please visit our online store or visit LA Medical’s showroom today.

We’ll talk more about the juvenile arthritis in our next post.

Source: pediatriconcall.com, the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation