Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)  - Western Paediatric Physiotherapy
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) are a set of inflammatory diseases that effects children under the age of 16. It is idiopathic in nature which means the exact cause is unknown. In most cases they are related to an immune system that begins to attack healthy cells. This leads to painful inflammation, swelling and joint pain. There are many different types of JIA all with the tissue effected and how widespread the condition is.  
paediatric physio, exercise, children, physical activity, juvenile arthritis, pain in children, joint aches
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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) are a set of inflammatory diseases that effects children under the age of 16. It is idiopathic in nature which means the exact cause is unknown. In most cases they are related to an immune system that begins to attack healthy cells. This leads to painful inflammation, swelling and joint pain. There are many different types of JIA all with the tissue effected and how widespread the condition is.  

Symptoms of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

  • Joint pain – Pain to both move joint and when joint palpated 
  • Joint stiffness – often worse in cold weather and in the morning 
  • Swelling over the joint – Often leading to warmer skin in the area and redness 
  • Avoiding use of the joint/area of the body effected
  • Poor sleep quality leading to fatigue, irritability and inability to concentrate
  • Other symptoms can include: Rashes, weight loss, fever and inflammation of the eye 

Diagnosis 

Diagnosis of JIA is challenging as there are not specific tests available. The initial consultation of the paediatrician/physiotherapist is to rule out other causes of pain and disability. Usually, a blood test will also be conducted however this cannot rule out or rule in JIA.  

Treatment 

The two main treatment types for JIA are medication to manage symptoms and physiotherapy. 

In Physiotherapy we use manual and exercise therapy to help maintain joint range of motion, improve muscular strength and minimise symptoms. Building muscular strength your child’s physical capacity will improve meaning they can do more before onset of symptoms. This means that they will be better equipped to keep up with their peers in the playground and in sport!  

How can Western Paeds Help?

At Western Paediatric we use a wide range of different exercises. This  help your child depending on what works best for your child physically and what they most enjoy (enjoyment=participation!). This includes Pilates based exercises, gym-based exercises and play based exercise. It also includes a home exercise program to help maintain and improve on benefits that have occurred within therapy! 

If you have any questions of your child suffers from JIA please do not hesitate to book in with one of our Paediatric Physiotherapists! 

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