Did you know about 3 in 1000 Canadian children have juvenile arthritis, making it more common than most chronic childhood diseases?
The word arthritis (arthro = joint, itis = inflammation) is a term referring to inflammation of the joint. Inflammation is a medical term that describes swelling, heat and redness which causes pain and, when in the joints, can also cause stiffness. In cases of juvenile arthritis [JA], the body’s immune system attacks tissue in the joint, which can cause it to feel stiff, warm, swollen, and painful. Arthritis can involve almost any part of the body, most often affecting large joints such as knees, ankles, wrists and elbows. It can also be found in small joints such as the fingers and toes.
No one knows what causes JA and there is no cure at the moment, however, symptoms can be managed through medication and therapy. There are 7 major types of JA, and their common unique features are:
– Growth patterns can be affected by inflammation of the joints
– Many types of JA involve inflammation inside the eye, which may not cause any symptoms but is important to monitor
– Arthritis of the jaw is common in many children with JA
– JA tends to be unpredictable, having an up and down that lasts many years
Information was sourced from this guide by the Arthritis Society: https://arthritis.ca/getmedia/42e31329-43c9-433b-89fb-7e3fc4f30493/ChildhoodArthritis_July23_2020.pdf
Check out this short video that details the lives of 2 children growing up with JA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWhskm2tvOo