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Arthritis is a disease usually associated with elderly people, but it can also affect children. When arthritis affects children, it is known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This disorder affects the musculoskeletal structure of a child and can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the muscles, joints, ligaments and bones. In some cases, it can also affect the internal organs. With medication and therapy, the symptoms of this disorder can be managed and the quality of the child’s life can be improved.
Hence, it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of this disease. Some of the symptoms to look out for are:
Pain: Complaints of pain in the joints or muscles on waking up from bed can be a sign of juvenile arthritis. This may affect a child’s jaw, neck, hands, knees and feet. For most children, moving around helps relieve some of the pain. Unlike the pain triggered by an injury, this kind of pain develops slowly and affects both symmetrical joints.
Joint stiffness: Children affected by this disorder may complain of stiff joints which hamper normal movement and activities. As with pain, this stiffness is usually worst in the morning and improves with movement.
Swelling: Redness and inflammation of painful joints is another symptom of this disorder. The joint may also feel warm to touch. This swelling may come and go or persist for several days. The joints of the hands, feet and knees are most susceptible to swelling.
Fever: Frequent fever accompanied by fatigue can indicate juvenile arthritis. These fevers usually com on suddenly and are relieved after a short time. Also, they do not exhibit any signs of respiratory or stomach infections.
Rashes: Rashes that are symptomatic of this disorder appear commonly over the knuckles, nose bridge or on the trunk, arms and legs. This often takes the form of a faint, pink rash that persists for weeks but unlike other rashes, it does not itch or ooze.
Weight loss: Drastic weight loss and an unexplained loss of appetite can also signal this disorder. In such cases, the child may also appear fatigued and showcase symptoms of associated malnutrition disorders.
Eye problems: Persistent troubles with eye sight such as pain, blurred vision and redness of the eye can be a sign of juvenile arthritis. In some cases, this disorder also causes the iris and uveitis as well as the middle layer of the eye to appear inflamed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a rheumatologist.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and can affect any joint of the body. Typically, the joints of the hands, knees, hips and spine are worst affected. This degenerative condition occurs when the cartilage cushioning the bones of a joint wear out. This causes the bones to grind against each other when moving the joint. The effects of Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but with medication and lifestyle changes, it can be managed and the progression of the disease can be slowed down. In cases where the joint pain causes immobility, joint replacement surgery may also be considered. One of the key factors that affects how well this pain is managed is the early diagnosis of the disorder. Here are a few symptoms that you should look out for.
- Pain: Unexplained pain that is not triggered by any kind of injury can be a sign of osteoarthritis. This pain usually worsens with movement. You may also feel a grating sensation when an affected joint is moved.
- Joint stiffness: Movement after a long period of inactivity or on waking up in the morning can be stiff and you may not be able to move a joint through the full range of possible motions. The joints may also feel tender when pressure is applied on them.
- Bone spurs: Bone spurs are extra bone growths which feel like hard lumps. This is generally formed around the affected joints.
Some people are at a higher risk of suffering from this disorder than others. The risk factors that determine this include:
- Age: This disease usually affects elderly people and hence advancement in age increases the risk of this disease.
- Sex: Women are at a higher risk of suffering from osteoarthritis than men.
- Obesity: Weight gain not only affects the way you look but also puts extra pressure on your joints, especially the hips and knees. In addition, proteins produced by fatty tissues can also cause inflammation around the joint.
- Joint injuries and bone deformities: Though an injury may have occurred and healed many years ago, it can increase a person’s risk of osteoarthritis in their later years. People born wiCalcium - 10 Excellent non-dairy foodsth defective cartilage or malformed bones are also at a higher risk of suffering from this condition.
- Occupation: Jobs or tasks that put stress on a particular joint can increase the risk of damage to the cartilage in that joint. Performing these tasks repeatedly can eventually lead to osteoarthritis.