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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Also known as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, this category includes all forms of Arthritis which can occur in young children and teenagers. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe and each child may react differently. It can even vary day by day.

The most common symptoms are inflammation of the joints, stiff and bent joints (which can manifest itself also after sleep, rest or too little activity), weakness in muscles and soft tissues around painful joints, joint damage and/or changes or differences in growth.

Just like with all types of Arthritis, it may take a while before the particular form of Arthritis can be pointed out. By that time the child is possibly already under the care of a Pediatric Rheumatologist to which it will be referred after about 6 months of pain in one or multiple joints. The last is usually an indication for an arthritic condition.

Depending on the severity several medications to relief pain and prevent joint and cartilage damage may be prescribed, but that is usually not all; treatments often include exercises and physical therapy. The overall development of the child is monitored carefully through eye, dental and other general health examinations on a regular basis.

Sometimes splints and other supporting devices can help preventing deformation of the joints and in extreme cases, surgery may be the solution. The mental aspect is a different story; children may have a hard time coping with their disease and the limitations it brings upon them.

You can help by not making a recluse out of your child. It needs the social interactions and a certain extend of social activities.

I was very pleasantly surprised to read the following:

Prayer and Spirituality.
Public opinion polls have shown that prayer is one of the most commonly used alternative therapies for arthritis. Research in behavioral medicine suggests that the interactions of the mind, body and spirit can have powerful effects on our health. But very few published scientific studies have examined the effects of prayer and spirituality.

Adding or deepening the spiritual aspects in your life could be good for you and arthritis, and – unless you abandon your medication and/or other components of your treatment program – certainly won’t hurt you.
~Source: Arthritis Foundation.

'Could be good for you' and 'certainly won't hurt you' ???

Let me assure you from my own experience: it IS good for you and certainly a huge help! Even though praying is such a small thing to do, it is the most powerful and helpful of all because God hears every prayer and answers accordingly. :-)

Psalm 66:20
Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!


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