Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 27-02-2017
A child’s health is a parent’s first priority. Although many adults struggle with arthritis each day, many are also surprised to find out that the disease affects children as well. Also referred to as “juvenile arthritis,” arthritis in children causes similar pain and dysfunction symptoms that are seen in adults. Understanding arthritis helps you determine the best options for your child. More importantly, you can take the steps to reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of living. Arthritis in children Arthritis occurs in children as young as 16 years or under. The condition is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects men and women of all ages. The most common signs of arthritis in children include pain, inflammation, redness and issues related to the gastrointestinal system, skin and eyes. In most cases, specific causes are rarely identified in children with arthritis. But there is a potential genetic component that may contribute to its development. Treatments for arthritis in children Working with a skilled physiotherapist helps children overcome many of the issues related to arthritis. These include limited range of motion, pain and muscle weakness. A physiotherapist can determine the best exercise and mobility strategies to improve function and restore natural movement in the joints. They can provide resistance exercises that improve the health and strength of the muscles and connective tissues. Children suffering from arthritis can find lasting relief through physiotherapy. An individualized program is essential to providing greater results to patients and helps them achieve freedom from chronic pain. Diagnosis and physiotherapy A physiotherapist performs a comprehensive assessment to help doctors complete the diagnostic process. Diagnosing arthritis in children can be difficult due to a lack of symptoms in the early stages. In some cases, symptoms that do appear may be linked to other health issues. But by ruling out conditions such as fibromyalgia, bone damage, infection, and others, a proper diagnosis can be made. There are tests available to help doctors diagnose the type of arthritis in young patients. Lab tests, X-rays, and bone marrow exams are just some of the tests that doctors can use. The goals of physiotherapy treatments for arthritis include pain relief, improved joint range of motion, increased strength, and injury prevention. By implementing a customized treatment plan, children can eliminate common arthritis symptoms and restore function to the joints of the body. Children can get arthritis, and there are many resources available to help them improve their general health and overcome issues related to chronic inflammation. Understanding how physiotherapy helps children with arthritis allows you to determine the best treatment options for your child’s wellbeing.