What is juvenile arthritis?

Joane Goodroe
Nursing Specialist

Juvenile arthritis is a common childhood disease marked by extreme joint pain and high fevers. A new consumer guide from AHRQ offers information to help parents and children with the disease.

The following is a link to their podcast and information:

Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

There is a myth that arthritis is a disease of the elderly, but children can also get arthritis. There are over 100 types of arthritis. When children get arthritis, it is often called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA.

Juvenile arthritis is defined as the onset of inflammation of the joints before the age of 16. It can be self-limited (go away on its own) or chronic and is much different from the common types of arthritis that can be seen in adults, which are usually due to wear and tear of the joints over the years. It can be idiopathic (we don't know the cause) or due to other medical conditions such as psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is initially treated with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as naproxen, to control inflammation. If this is ineffective, there are alternatives, such as steroids and biologic agents, which may be used in conjunction with the NSAID.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.