It might surprise you, but both children and adults can get arthritis, and there are many different types. Arthritis is a general term that refers to inflammation in the joints, and there are several types of arthritis that can affect children. 
Let’s explore these and find out what you can do to manage the condition. 


The most common forms of arthritis in adults is osteoarthritis. 
This is where there is a focal loss of the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones, and the space in the joint between the two bones gets narrower. This means that ultimately the two bones can rub together and cause pain. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis 

This is characterised by an immune response causing a swelling on the membrane surrounding certain joints, as well as other symptoms such as fever, weight loss and general feeling of fatigue. This swelling can stretch the ligament around the joint and cause some instability. It can also lead to osteoarthritis in some cases. 
There are many more forms of arthritis, and while these forms of arthritis are more prevalent in the older patient, age is not a direct factor and cause in the onset of these conditions. They are more likely to be related to lifestyle and genetic predisposition. 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) 

This affects 1 in 1000 children; a condition more common than Cystic Fibrosis. The word ‘idiopathic’ suggests that there is no known cause, but there are as many as 7 types of childhood arthritis. The type of JIA is categorised by the number of joints affected, and by other symptoms such as a persistent rash, fever or evidence of psoriasis (all of which are symptoms similar to that of some adult forms of arthritis). 
The most common signs and symptoms of JIA are: 
Pain: While your child might not complain of joint pain, you may notice that they limp, especially first thing in the morning or after a nap. 
Swelling: Joint swelling is common but is often first noticed in larger joints such as knees. 
Stiffness: Your child might be clumsier than usual, particularly in the morning or after naps. 
Fever, swollen lymph nodes, and rash: In some cases, high fever, swollen lymph nodes or a rash on the torso may occur, and this can be worse in the evenings. 
For those children with JIA the treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis they have. Most treatments would include exercise, medication and dietary factors. The main goals in any treatment would be to relieve pain by: 
Reducing swelling 
Increasing joint mobility and strength 
Preventing joint damage and complications 
What we are trying to highlight here is the fact that age is not a direct cause of arthritis as commonly believed. 
Too many people expect arthritis to come with age. This is a negative belief as it can be detrimental to your mood and your health. 

A nutrition focus 

Paying attention to your diet is one way of keeping symptoms at bay whether young or old. Making sure you consume more alkaline foods rather than acidic foods is a great place to start as it reduces inflammation in your body. 
What to add into your diet: 
Look at getting more dark leafy greens, green tea, garlic and oily fish into your meals. 
What to reduce or remove from your diet: 
Try and reduce the amount of fried foods, dairy, sugary foods or eating too much wheat. 
It’s important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of arthritis in children, which can include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, as well as fatigue, fever, and rash. 
If you suspect that your child may have arthritis, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term joint damage and improve quality of life. 
If you’d like to chat about this topic, do speak to us, or get yourself booked in for a massage to help with your symptoms. 
Tagged as: Arthritis
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