What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means "joint inflammation" and refers to a group of rheumatic diseases that affect the joints. "Arthritis" is often used as a more general term to refer to the more than 100 rheumatic diseases that may affect the joints but can also cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in other supporting structures of the body such as:
Some rheumatic diseases can affect other parts of the body, including various internal organs.
Children can develop almost all types of arthritis that affect adults, but the most common type that affects children is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).
What is JRA?
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is arthritis that causes joint inflammation and stiffness for more than 6 weeks in a child of 16 years of age or less. Inflammation causes redness, swelling, warmth, and soreness in the joints, although many children with JRA do not complain of joint pain. Any joint can be affected and inflammation may limit the mobility of affected joints. One type of JRA can also affect the internal organs.
Doctors classify JRA into three types by the:
These classifications help the doctor determine how the disease will progress and whether the internal organs or skin is affected.
The main three types of juvenile arthritis are: