Does your teen complain of frequent joint pain? Is she suffering from a considerable weight loss? If you nodded along worriedly, your teen might be suffering from arthritis. But, don’t fret! Read our post and learn everything about arthritis in teens.
What Is Arthritis In Teens?
Arthritis is the inflammation of joints, pain in joints, or swelling in joints. There are two types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Juvenile arthritis it a type of rheumatoid arthritis in teens. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when a teen’s immune system attacks its body tissues and cells (1).
Causes Of Arthritis In Teens:
Even though the exact cause of arthritis in teenagers is not yet clear, researchers believe several factors can result in arthritis in teens. Prominent causes of juvenile arthritis are:
- Genetic mutations
- Environmental factors, such as viruses (2)
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Symptoms Of Arthritis In Teens:
Apart from joint pain and swollen joints, some other symptoms of juvenile arthritis include:
- Pain in joints and you might notice the teen limping, particularly first thing in the morning.
- Clumsy appearance
- Swelling of joints, particularly in the large joints like knee joint.
- Fevers along with excessive fatigue
- Rashes on her skin, particularly across the cheeks, over knuckles, trunk, legs, arms, or bridge of the nose.
- Loss of appetite
- A considerable weight loss
- Eye infections such as pink-eye or conjunctivitis (3)
If your teen suffers from any of these symptoms, then it is best to see the doctor as soon as possible for the right medical assistance.
[ Read: Loss of Appetite In Teens ]
Treating Arthritis In Teens:
Treatments of juvenile arthritis focus on helping teens to carry out normal social and physical activities. Doctors recommend a combination of medical treatments to help your teen obtain relief from swelling and pain, prevent complications and maintain strength and easy movements. Find here some effective treatments for arthritis in teens.
Doctors prescribe multiple medications to minimize pain and swelling in the affected teens. Medications include:
I. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):
Doctors may recommend ibuprofen and Aleve to minimize pain and swelling. If the pain is acute, then the doctor may prescribe stronger NSAIDs than usual (4).
II. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs):
Doctors recommend DMARDs when NSAIDs fail to minimize pain. DMARDs that doctors usually prescribe are leflunomide and methotrexate (5).
Biologic response modifiers help minimize pain; reduce swelling in joints, and morning stiffness. Biologic agents include tumor necrosis factor blockers such as Humira and Enbrel (6).
Doctors may recommend medicines, such as prednisone, to reduce symptoms and prevent complications resulting due to juvenile arthritis. The affected teen can have corticosteroids orally or inject them directly into the affected joint (7).
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2. Physical Therapy:
Certain therapies, such as physical therapy, can help teens to obtain relief from pain and inflammation in teens with arthritis. Doctors may recommend the affected teen to work with an expert physical therapist to maintain the range of motion, flexibility of joints, and muscle tone. A physical therapist may provide effective medical recommendations, protective equipment, and teach your teen the best exercises to improve the condition. The therapist may also recommend the use of splints or joint supports to safeguard the affected joints and maintain good functionality (8).
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In extreme cases of juvenile arthritis, surgery may help improve the condition of joint and reduce pain. Consult an experienced, expert surgeon for performing the necessary surgical operation on your teen (9).
Did your teenager suffer from rheumatoid arthritis? How did you go about it? What line of treatment did the doctor follow? Share experience with other concerned moms here. Leave a comment below.
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