For a proper diagnosis, the primary care doctor will likely provide a referral to a rheumatologist, a type of doctor who specializes in arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases. A diagnosis is based on many things, including a thorough medical history and the results of a physical examination and medical tests. Because certain conditions can be inherited, the doctor will ask questions about the health history of the patient and his or her relatives.
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The rheumatologist will perform a physical exam, looking for swelling and inflammation of the joints. The doctor may order X-rays to detect changes to the bones or joints. They include C-reactive protein and rheumatoid factor RF. People with PsA are almost always RF-negative. If blood tests are positive for rheumatoid factor, the doctor should suspect RA first. The doctor may also test joint fluid to exclude gout or infectious arthritis. Because psoriatic arthritis can be tricky to diagnose, people sometimes are initially told they have another form of arthritis only to find out later they have psoriatic arthritis.
Genes are part of our DNA and are found in the body's cells. JIA is not contagious, so you can't catch it from someone else. Arthritis is an autoimmune say: aw -toe-i- myoon disease. An autoimmune disease means a person's immune system makes a mistake and attacks the body's own tissues or organs. Normally, a kid's immune system sends out white blood cells to protect the body and fight outside invaders like bacteria and viruses that can make a kid sick.
But with an autoimmune disease like JIA, the immune system makes a mistake and attacks healthy cells.
Instead of recognizing the healthy cells and saying, "Hi, nice to see you," the immune system thinks the healthy cells need to be destroyed and releases chemicals to fight the healthy cells. The chemicals released by the immune system cause the pain and swelling that can happen with arthritis. Just because a joint hurts doesn't mean a kid has JIA. A joint might hurt for a lot of different reasons, which is why it's important to see a doctor to figure out what the problem is. The doctor will ask a lot of questions: How long has the kid had joint problems?
Does he or she feel stiff when getting up or after resting?
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Are the joints swollen? Was there an injury? Could another problem be causing arthritis, such as Lyme disease?
Is there a family history of arthritis or other autoimmune diseases? Getting these answers and doing a physical exam, blood tests, and X-rays will help the doctor figure out if it is JIA. If your doctor thinks you may have it, he or she may send you to see a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.
When to see a doctor
This kind of doctor is called a rheumatologist say: roo-muh- tol -oh-jist. Some kids who have JIA might take medicine like ibuprofen to help control pain and inflammation. Assistive technology devices can be customized to the patient or bought commercially. There are several types of medications that are used for the treatment of arthritis. Treatment typically begins with medications that have the fewest side effects with further medications being added if insufficiently effective.
Depending on the type of arthritis, the medications that are given may be different. For example, the first-line treatment for osteoarthritis is acetaminophen paracetamol while for inflammatory arthritis it involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Rheumatoid arthritis RA is autoimmune so, in addition to pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, is treated with another category of drug called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs DMARDs , which act on the immune system to slow down the progression of RA.
An example of this type of drug is methotrexate. A number of rheumasurgical interventions have been incorporated in the treatment of arthritis since the s. Arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee provides no additional benefit to optimized physical and medical therapy. People with hand arthritis can have trouble with simple activities of daily living tasks ADLs , such as turning a key in a lock or opening jars, as these activities can be cumbersome and painful. There are adaptive aids or assistive devices ADs available to help with these tasks,  but they are generally more costly than conventional products with the same function.
It is now possible to 3-D print adaptive aids, which have been released as open source hardware to reduce patient costs. Further research is required to determine if transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation TENS for knee osteoarthritis is effective for controlling pain.
Low level laser therapy may be considered for relief of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has tentative evidence supporting improved functioning but no evidence of improved pain in osteoarthritis. Arthritis is predominantly a disease of the elderly, but children can also be affected by the disease. With an aging population, this number is expected to increase.
Of these, osteoarthritis is the fastest increasing major health condition. A systematic review assessed the prevalence of arthritis in Africa and included twenty population-based and seven hospital-based studies. Nine studies were well-conducted, eleven studies were of moderate quality, and seven studies were conducted poorly.
The results of the systematic review were as follows:. Evidence of osteoarthritis and potentially inflammatory arthritis has been discovered in dinosaurs. In early reports, arthritis was frequently referred to as the most common ailment of prehistoric peoples. In , William Musgrave published the second edition of his most important medical work, De arthritide symptomatica , which concerned arthritis and its effects. The word 'arthritides' denotes the collective group of arthritis-like conditions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A type of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints.
Not to be confused with Arteritis. For the journal, see Arthritis journal.
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Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
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