Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is an autoimmune disease. The immune system, which is meant to fight off germs and viruses from the body, gets disarrayed and attacks the body’s healthy tissue cells, causing inflammation to the synovium tissue around the joints.  

JIA is the most common type of arthritis that effects young children and teenagers. This condition typically causes joint pain and inflammation in the hands, knees, ankles, elbows and wrists but can also affect other areas of the body. It is unclear as to why kids and teens develop JIA but is it believed that those with JIA have certain genes that are triggered by viruses, bacteria or other external factors. However, there is no evidence at the moment to suggest that certain foods, toxins, allergies or a lack of vitamins can cause this disease. 

There are six types of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: 

  • Oligoarthritic – affects four or fewer joints in the body, typically the larger joints such as the knees, elbow and ankles. 
  • Polyarthritis – affects five or more joints, often on both side of the body (e.g., both the left and right wrist). 
  • Systematic – this subtype of arthritis affects the whole body.  
  • Psoriatic arthritis – those suffering from this subtype will experience the typically joint symptoms of arthritis (joint pain, inflammation and swelling) and will also develop a scaly rash behind the ears, on the eyelids, elbows, knees, belly button, and scalp.  
  • Enthesitis-related, also know as spondylarthritis – affects the areas where muscles, ligaments or tendons attach to the bone.  
  • Undifferentiated – the symptoms experienced do not fall under any subtype of JIA, but inflammation does occur in one or more joints. 


While the symptoms of JIA may vary from patient to patient, the most common symptoms include: 

  • Joint pain and stiffness, which worsens after waking up or staying in the same position for a long period of time. 
  • Swollen, red, tender or warm joints.  
  • Felling fatigued  
  • Blurry vision  
  • Dry itchy eyes 
  • A rash may occur 
  • Experiencing a loss of appetite 
  • A high fever 


If your child has experienced joint pain, swelling and stiffness alongside a fever for more than a week, you should take them to see a doctor. If JIA is left untreated, it can have negative effects on the entire body.  

Unfortunately, there is no cure for JIA but with an early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, controlling the disease and even remission is possible. Treatment of JIA is aimed at helping your child partake in daily social activities such as school and sports and improving their quality of life. This is achieved by slowing down or stopping the inflammation, relieving pain, preventing joint and organ damage, as well as maintaining and improving joint mobility and function. To achieve this, doctors may use medications and non-surgical therapies. In extremely severe cases, surgery may be required to improve joint function.  

A physical therapist, such as an osteopath, will use manipulative techniques to help keep the joints flexible as well as maintain their range of motion and muscle tone.  The therapist will also make additional recommendations about lifestyle habits, exercises and equipment your child may need. 

At OsteoVision, our team of specialists are always available to assist you and offer advice. Please contact us if you would like to discuss these symptoms, have any questions, would like to book an appointment or require more information about Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

Call:     03303 904300
Email:  info@osteovision.life
You can also book an appointment online at www.osteovision.life

Arthritis Foundation. n.d. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). [online] Available at: <https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis> [Accessed 30 June 2021]. 

Mayo Clinic. 2020. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20374082> [Accessed 30 June 2021]. 

Mayoclinic.org. 2020. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374088> [Accessed 30 June 2021].