The first signs of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are often hard to determine as they can be very obvious or they can hardly be noticed at all. Many times the first signs can be as simple as your child complaining of a sore knee or wrist. The joints in the body may become enlarged and swollen. Your child might also complain of having a sore neck.
More obvious symptoms that something is wrong can include a fever and rash. Your child may spike a fever in the evenings that disappears come morning. Rashes may also come and go. However, since a rash and fever are also symptoms of other childhood diseases, it may be hard for you to know that something is wrong. If any of the above symptoms don’t go away you should talk to your family doctor about testing for rheumatoid arthritis juvenile.
The first thing that your doctor will do is a complete medical history of your child. This will include a physical exam. Most likely your doctor will eliminate other medical conditions by doing blood tests and taking x-rays. Your doctor will be as thorough as possible in the testing so that a correct diagnosis is made.
Some of the other tests that your doctor may do for a juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis include a CBC (complete blood count), bone marrow exam, ANA (antinuclear antibody), bone scan, and a blood culture to determine if any bacteria are causing an infection in the blood.
Once it has been determined whether or not your child has JRA a course of treatment will be decided. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment is usually a combination of one or more components that include exercise, physical therapy, and medication. In some cases of JRA, corticosteroids are injected into the joints. As well, more severe cases of JRA may require surgery. Your doctor will work in tandem with a physical therapist and a rheumatologist to decide what the best course of treatment is for your child.
The main goal of treatment is to provide your child relieve from pain and reduce the inflammation. As well, the ultimate goal is to prevent and slow down joint destruction. Your child’s doctors will aim to restore the function of the joints so that there is the best possible advantage for your child to grow normally and to lead a well rounded emotional life.
When it comes to medications, there are many options available. The juvenile rheumatoid arthritis foundation is constantly updating the list of known medications that are effective in the treatment of JRA. As well, your child’s doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin or Advil to help relieve the pain and inflammation that your child is experiencing.