Arthritis is a condition that is frequently associated with older people. While it is true that arthritis does occur with greater frequency as people age, what is less commonly known is that it can also affect children and young people.
Arthritis is an umbrella term as there are more than 100 different types of the condition, one of which is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). This type occurs in children and young people up to the age of 16. In this article, we look in more detail at JIA, its symptoms and how they can be managed.
JIA is what is known as an 'autoimmune' condition. This essentially means that it causes the body's immune system to attack itself in response to a perceived threat that does not exist. The body responds by causing the joints to become inflamed, resulting in pain and problems with motion. 'Idiopathic' means that the condition has no known cause and arises spontaneously.
Though it is unusual for JIA to occur in two or members of one family, research does suggest that genetic factors are involved in causing JIA. It appears that genetic predisposition combines with environmental triggers (such as when the immune system has previously been exposed to infection) to produce the condition. JIA can occur in both genders though is slightly more prevalent in girls than boys.
JIA produces a range of symptoms that can vary greatly in occurrence and severity from patient to patient. Typical symptoms include swollen and/or stiff joints that feel warm to the touch, a limping gait when walking, low levels of energy leading to lethargy and recurring fevers that have no discernible cause.
There is no known cure for JIA at present and so treatment centres around reducing the severity and impact of symptoms. One form of treatment is wearing gaiters, specially-designed garments that offer support to affected limbs while assisting with relative movement. Jobskin® supplies a full range of gaiters in both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure formats.
Compliance can be an issue when it comes to the wearing of such garments, especially with young people. To help, Jobskin® offer a wide selection of printed fabrics to appeal to a young audience as well as adults. Wearing gaiters has never been more fun and encourages children to have more control over their condition.
Image Credit: Cheryl Holt, 2014. Available at: www.pixabay.com