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How Do I Choose the Best Juvenile Arthritis Treatment?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated May 17, 2024
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When a child suffers from juvenile arthritis, there are several treatment options available, including the use of medications, general health care recommendations, and exercise. Each type of juvenile arthritis treatment is designed to help relieve the common symptoms of this disease, such as stiff joints, pain, and loss of motion range. Juvenile arthritis is characterized by early onset of symptoms, generally before the patient is 16 years old, and is known to more often affect girls than boys. There is no known cause for the disease and it is not believed to be caused by toxins or vitamin deficiencies, but some researchers believe there may be a hereditary link.

Pain and inflammation medications are often used as a juvenile arthritis treatment. The most commonly used type of medications includes corticosteroids, biologics, and analgesics. In short term situations, these medications are chosen to reduce the pain, inflammation, and loss of motion often experienced during an arthritis attack, though they have long term functions as well. For long term benefit, the medicines are intended to slow the progress of the disease and limit damage to both soft tissues and bone. It is not unusual for a physician to prescribe several different medications to a child in the hopes of providing the most effective treatment possible.

General health recommendations are important for a child with juvenile arthritis, and parents are encouraged to help the patient eat properly and maintain eye and dental health. Many patients with juvenile arthritis either lose or gain weight due to their medications, and experts suggest implementing a healthy diet as part of the juvenile arthritis treatment plan. Eye problems, such as chronic eye inflammation, are a problem for many of these patients, so consistent eye exams are encouraged as well. Children with jaw joint arthritis often have difficulties pertaining to their dental health and are encouraged to see a dentist regularly for the best possible care.

Most people with arthritis experience pain and discomfort when performing regular activities as well as therapeutic exercises, but they are encouraged to continue as much as possible. While stretching and range of motion exercises are commonly used as a juvenile arthritis treatment, any activity or sport the child feels comfortable with is a good therapy option. Consistent exercise helps to promote body confidence and keeps joints flexible and strong.

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