Symptoms of Arthritis in Children
Arthritis is an alteration in the joints that causes inflammation in them. This pathology causes various discomforts such as pain, swelling, stiffness and a decrease in the ability to move in the sector of the body that is present. Although this disease is closely related to advanced age, there are some cases in which a child can also suffer, which is known as juvenile arthritis, which is diagnosed in the presence of certain symptoms in children under 16 years.
It can happen that arthritis in children is presented as a symptom of other disorders such as alterations in the spine, gastrointestinal tract, skin or some other organ that is affected. For this reason, it is essential that a medical consultation is made by noting certain characteristics of inflammation in the joints and if you want to know more about this condition, in the this article we detail the symptoms of arthritis in children.
Symptoms of arthritis in children
The main symptoms of arthritis in children are:
- Joint inflammation
- Joint pain.
- Joint stiffness
- Redness and heat in the area.
- Skin rash.
- Swollen glands.
Below we will explain them more extensively
Joint inflammation and pain
When the joints swell they can be accompanied by great pain and, generally, cause a small deformity in the area, making it look abnormally larger than it should have.
Although inflammation and discomfort in the joints are a very frequent symptom of arthritis in children, this produces another symptomatology that can also be very characteristic of it, that is, the stiffness in the affected area. In spite of this, there may still be heat in the place and redness, which can be very annoying for the patient.
There are some types of arthritis in which you can notice a very visible symptom in the largest organ that contains a person, that is, the skin. Therefore, it is always necessary to pay close attention to any mark, color change, protuberances or something abnormal that a child may present anywhere in their body.
Some arthritis can cause skin changes such as:
- Small injuries
Although they are not a serious symptom of arthritis, they should not be missed and it is important to consult a specialist so that they can check the child and offer the most appropriate treatment for their case.
Increase in the size of the liver and spleen
Some forms of arthritis in children, such as the so-called rheumatoid arthritis, can cause an enlargement of the liver and spleen of the child. For this reason, it is important to perform controls if the presence of arthritis is known or suspected.
At the same time, this symptomatology can cause other symptoms such as:
- Discomfort in the hip.
- Loss of weight for no apparent reason.
- Sensation of exaggerated hunger.
- Presence of certain infections.
This increase in the size of the organs can also be due to other pathologies such as cancer or anemia, so a doctor should be visited for the correct diagnosis.
Inflammation of nodes and fever
Another symptom of arthritis in children may be swollen lymph nodes, depending on the type of disorder the child is suffering from. This can bring some pain in the throat, either constantly or when trying to swallow some food or even the saliva itself.
On the other hand, some arthritis can cause fever in children and could be very high, so it must be controlled urgently. In addition, these symptoms belong to numerous disorders, making this pathology easily confused with others, being indispensable that it is the specialist who diagnoses and medicates the disease.
Treatment for children with arthritis
As arthritis is a disease that has no cure, the goal of treatment is:
- Control inflammation
- Decrease symptoms
- Prevent damage to the joints.
Ensure that they maintain their function as best as possible.
Thus, the doctor will indicate the treatment for the child according to the type of arthritis that is diagnosed, the state of the disease and the symptoms that arise.
The treatment for arthritis in children is usually based on the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, mainly ibuprofen and naproxen, whose function is to reduce pain and inflammation. In most cases these drugs are sufficient to control the disease and become very effective when there are few affected joints.
Also, the specialist could indicate the intake of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs, such as methotrexate, corticosteroids or biological agents. These medications are stronger than NSAIDs, and although they do not have a quick effect in relieving pain and inflammation they give very good long-term results, they are also ideal for preventing joint damage. They are usually prescribed in a second stage of treatment and in those children who have arthritis in numerous joints or the symptoms do not decrease.
On the other hand, it is important that the child with arthritis follow physical therapy to maintain the strength and mobility of the joints and muscles around them. The most advisable thing is that a specialist takes control of the therapy and indicates the exercises, and the intensity of them, that the child can perform.
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