What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) includes a number of different types of arthritis that affects young children. Idiopathic means that the cause of the condition is not yet known. Although there is no cure for JIA, it is important to keep the symptoms under control and physiotherapy is a very successful way of doing this. Physio.co.uk have specialist paediatric physiotherapists that are experienced in devising personalised treatment programmes to manage JIA. There are a various different types of JIA depending on what symptoms you have. These include:
- Polyarthritis: affects 5 or more joints in the body and cause a fever and severe fatigue.
- Enthesitis-related arthritis: causes inflammation in the sacroiliac joint and problems with the eyes (uveitis).
- Oligoarthritis: the most common type of JIA affecting less than 4 joints and experienced by children under the age of five.
- Systemic arthritis: presents as a fever and rash and does not just affect the joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis: associated with the skin condition psoriasis which often affects children under the age of ten.
What are the symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
The symptoms of JIA are determined by which form of arthritis you have. However, often a child may have a combination of symptoms and it is important to get these under control as soon as possible. Your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will work with you to devise a comprehensive treatment plan to help you continue with a healthy and active lifestyle. General symptoms of JIA include:
- Swelling of one or more joints
- Heat surrounding the joint
- Unable to do normal activities of daily living/sports
How is juvenile idiopathic arthritis diagnosed?
There is no specific test to diagnose JIA and therefore it is often confirmed by a combination of tests and by assessing your main symptoms. It is important to begin physiotherapy as soon as a diagnosis of JIA to maximise the outcome of your treatment. Tests commonly used are:
- Blood tests
- MRI scans
- Physical assessment of symptoms
How will physiotherapy help with juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
Physiotherapy is a very good way to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint to provide extra support which will help reduce any pain you may have. There are a variety of treatment options that help control the symptoms of JIA and your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will decide on the best possible programme to suit your needs. Physiotherapy may help in the following ways:
- Strengthening muscles surrounding affected joints
- Reduce pain
- Reduce swelling
- Helping you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve range of movement at joints
What physiotherapy will be used for juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
The physiotherapy programme developed by Physio.co.uk will consist of a variety of treatments depending on your needs and goals. Your programme will be individualised to suit you and will be adapted depending on your current symptoms. Physiotherapy may include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Range of movement exercises
- TENS treatment
- Home exercise programme
- Cardiovascular activities
- Cryotherapy (ice)
- Provision of specialist equipment
- Wax therapy
- Pacing advice
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) includes a number of different types of arthritis that can affect children. The forms of arthritis include polyarthritis, enthesitis-related arthritis, oligoarthritis, systemic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Physiotherapy is a successful way of controlling your symptoms and helping you maintain an active lifestyle. Please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 to book an appointment today, or you can also book online!