Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

As juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is mainly associated with joint pain, which worsens the quality of life of the child, the main intention of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment is to reduce the joint pain to minimum and also to prevent disability. The treatment is mainly based on physical therapy and medication.

The type and severity of the disease are mainly considered while deciding the treatment. Although if the disease is not complicated, the child may need a long term treatment and checkups. You will have to keep in constant touch with the healthcare providers in order to check if your child is getting appropriate care. The best way is to learn as much as you can about this disease and its treatments and keep proper schedule of the child’s medication and exercises.

The juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment starts generally when the doctor confirms that there are no other causes for the symptoms occurring in the child. If the symptoms like pain, stiffness and swelling in the child’s joints have persisted for not less than six weeks, it is a quite sure indicator of the disease. The doctor then may appoint a team for the treatment, which includes a pediatrician, a rheumatologist and a physical and/or occupational therapist.

Out of the other treatments, physical exercise plays a critical part for the child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. A physical/occupational therapist shows you and your kid exercises which the child can do at home to keep contractures away and keep the joint range and strength of muscles constant. Moving the child’s affected joints to their full range of movements helps keep stiffening or distortion away. The problem is, many children show reluctance to move the aching joints and need to be coaxed to follow the regular exercise schedule.

Other major part of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment is medication. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are most of the times the first line medicines for reducing pain and inflammation in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, unless the child is suffering from life-threatening condition or critical inflammation in eye or any joint. The doctor may change the NSAID, if there is no improvement in the condition after six weeks. It is possible that a child, getting relief due to a NSAID, may not get relief after taking some other NSAID.

uvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

If the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis of the child is more severe, the doctor may start some medicines named as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs. These are also called slow-acting antirheumatic drugs or SAARDs. Amongst these, methotrexate is the first choice of many doctors. It is given either alone or along with other medicines. Biologic is also a type of DMARD, and etanercept comes under this group. Some doctors try them too.

Another medicine is a corticosteroidal injection, which is injected in the joint in order to reduce inflammation. This is used in particular when the child is having oligoarticular or pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

You should observe keenly for the child’s improvement during the treatment. It is important to monitor this, because many children don’t show that they are undergoing pain, because either they are afraid of going to the doctor or they don’t like to see their parents upset. In such a case, you can come to know if the child is undergoing pain by noticing changes like stiff motion, rubbing of joints or muscles, and reluctance to movements. By observing this, you can monitor your child’s improvement during the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment.