Pediatric Occupational Therapy For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Pediatric Occupational Therapy For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis | Triumph Therapeutics | Occupational Therapy in Washington DC

Does your child complain of painful, swollen joints?

Do they have difficulty with tasks like walking or reaching for objects?

If you answered yes to these questions, your child may be struggling with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

With a diagnostic rate of approximately one in 1000, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of arthritis seen in children under 16 years of age.

Untreated, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can lead to serious, lifelong complications, such as:

  • Loss of red blood cells (anemia)
  • Long term recurring pain
  • Joint damage
  • Stunted growth
  • Uneven limbs
  • Vision changes
  • Swelling around the heart (pericarditis)

Fortunately, pediatric occupational therapy services include numerous treatment options for children struggling with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Keep reading to learn more, or contact our Washington DC pediatric therapy clinic to book an appointment.

What Is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a childhood condition associated with:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Painful joints

If your child has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, they may experience symptom flare ups that can last anywhere from several months or years, and in rare cases, even a lifetime.

While most causes of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are mild, complications such as joint damage and chronic pain can occur.

Types Of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are 6 subtypes of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis:

1. Systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the entire body.
2. Oligoarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which affects fewer than five joints.
3. Polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which affects five or more joints.
4. Juvenile psoriatic arthritics, which occurs alongside psoriasis, a skin disease that causes itchy, scaly patches.
5. Enthesitis related juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by bone meeting tendons and ligaments.
6. Undifferentiated arthritis, which is diagnosed in children who display symptoms of numerous subtypes or do not fit any other subtypes.

The severity of symptoms caused by each subtype vary.

Typically, the subtypes that affect many joints, such as systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, will be most severe.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

If your child has been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, you may notice a variety of symptoms, including:

If your child has been diagnosed with the subtype systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, you may also notice symptoms such as:

• Rash
• Rever
• Swollen lymph nodes

What Causes Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Currently, the exact cause of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis remains unknown.

However, research points to evidence that suggests juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is primarily an autoimmune disease.

With autoimmune diseases, your immune system mistakes your body’s own tissues for pathogens and attacks them.

This is what sets rheumatoid arthritis apart from osteoarthritis, which is related to general wear and tear of your joints.

How Is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?

If you suspect that your child could have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, contact a pediatrician.

Your child’s pediatrician may be able to give a diagnosis through a detailed physical exam.

In other cases, a pediatrician may recommend that your child undergo various diagnostic tests, such as:

  • C reactive protein test, which measures the presence of substances that are produced in the liver in response to inflammation
  • Rheumatoid factor test, which detects the presence of antibodies produced by the immune system in response to rheumatic disease
  • Antinuclear antibody test, which measures antibodies that are often created by the immune system in individuals with autoimmune disease
  • HLA B27 test, which tests for genetic predispositions for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • X ray or MRI, which are used to rule out other conditions, such as infections or fractures

How Can Pediatric Occupational Therapy For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Help | Triumph Therapeutics | Occupational Therapy in Washington DC

How Can Pediatric Occupational Therapy For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Help?

If your child’s pediatrician diagnoses them with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to begin treatment immediately to prevent the condition from worsening.

An occupational therapist is an excellent addition to your child’s arthritis treatment team.

Treatment for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis typically involves:

  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Managing pain
  • Improving function in everyday roles and responsibilities
  • Preventing joint damage

Your child’s occupational therapist can help achieve these treatment goals in several ways.

For instance, your child’s occupational therapist can provide advice on how to adapt your child’s home and school environment to support their needs.

Similarly, they can also provide advice on how to adapt your child’s activities to help them better achieve their goals.

In some cases of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, the use of an assisted device, such as a brace or splint, may be beneficial.

Assisted devices can help your child remain independent while experiencing symptom flare ups.

They can help your child independently accomplish their activities of daily living, such as brushing their teeth, eating, and writing in school.

If your child requires the use of an assisted device, an occupational therapist can visit your child’s home and school to help determine which assisted devices your child would benefit from most.

Additionally, it is important for children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to remain active.

Your child’s occupational therapist can help your child come up with a physical activity schedule that accounts for periods of flare ups when your child may be feeling more tired.

Book Your Appointment With Triumph Therapeutics Today

If your child has been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, don’t wait to begin treatment.

Most children diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis typically recover without complications; however, occasional flare ups will continue to occur for the remainder of their life.

At Triumph Therapeutics, our professional team can help you and your child manage these flare ups.

Book an appointment with Triumph Therapeutics today to get started.

If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today for a free phone consultation.

Triumph Therapeutics
4900 Massachusetts Ave NW suite 340,
Washington, DC 20016

(202) 621-9793
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Triumph Therapeutics is a team of highly experienced pediatric therapists specializing in physical therapy, speech language therapy, and occupation therapy for children, adolescents and their families as they work to reach their growth and wellness goals