Treatment for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
For children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, treatment commonly involves medications, exercise, and physical therapy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often the first medications that healthcare providers recommend. Treatment may also involve other types of medications, such as corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and TNF inhibitors.
An Overview of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Healthcare providers use a variety of approaches to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. These approaches are used in different combinations and at different times during the course of the disease, and are chosen according to the patient's individual situation.
The main goals of treating juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are to preserve a high level of physical and social functioning while maintaining a good quality of life. To achieve these goals, healthcare providers recommend treatments to:
- Reduce swelling
- Maintain full movement in the affected joint
- Relieve pain
- Identify, treat, and prevent complications.
In order to achieve these goals, most children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis need medication, exercise, and physical therapy.
Keep in mind that good communication among the child, parents, and healthcare providers is necessary for effective juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Talking to the healthcare providers can help ensure that exercise and pain management programs are provided as needed, and that drugs are prescribed appropriately.
Ultimately, however, successful treatment begins with the parents and child. Studies have shown that children and parents who are well informed and participate actively in the treatment process see better results and make fewer visits to the doctor than do other families coping with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.