About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)_Kids With Arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of arthritis in children and teens. It typically causes joint pain and inflammation in the hands, knees, ankles, elbows and/or wrists. It may also affect other body parts too. JIA used to be called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), but the name was changed because it is NOT a child version of the adult disease. The term “juvenile arthritis” is used to describe all the joint conditions, including JIA, that affect children and teens up to 16 years of age.

JIA types are autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases. That means the immune system, which is supposed to fight germs and viruses, gets confused and attacks the body’s cells and tissues. This causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals that attack the synovium (tissue lining around a joint). It produces fluid that cushions joints and helps them move smoothly. An inflamed synovium may make a joint feel painful or tender, look red or swollen or difficult to move.

The word “idiopathic” means unknown, as it is still unsure why children develop JIA. It is believed that children with JIA have specific genes that are activated by a virus, bacteria or other external factors. There is no evidence that foods, toxins, allergies or lack of vitamins cause the disease.
There is no cure for JIA but remission (little or no disease activity or symptoms) is possible. Early aggressive treatment is key to getting the disease under control as quickly as possible.

The goals of JIA treatment are to:

  • Slow down or stop inflammation

  • Relieve symptoms, control pain and improve quality of life.

  • Prevent joint and organ damage.

  • Preserve joint function and mobility.

  • Reduce long-term health effects.

  • Achieve remission (little or no disease activity or symptoms)

The goals of JIA treatment_Kids With Arthritis