Most people think of arthritis as a disease of old age, with people's joints growing creaky and painful later in life. But arthritis also affects hundreds of thousands of kids in the United States. Children and teens with juvenile arthritis face a lifetime of aching joints and impaired mobility if the disease isn't caught in time.
Doctors don't know what causes the disease. But there are a number of things that they think can lead to it.
There are three types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Pauciarticular is the most common and mildest type. Your child may have pain in 1 to 4 joints, such as the knees, ankles, fingers, toes, wrists, elbows, or hips.
Polyarticular is more severe. It affects more joints and tends to get worse over time.
Systemic is the least common type. But it can be the most serious. It causes pain in many joints and can also spread to organs.
Sources: HealthDay and Healthwise
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