Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is typically characterized by pain and inflammation in the joints. Children with this disease will often complain about pain in their hands, knees, ankles, elbows, and/or wrists but it’s not uncommon for them to feel pain in other parts of the body as well. The level of discomfort can range from mild to severe depending on how the disease affects the body, however, you have several options to help your child cope with their pain.
Tips For Identifying Your Child’s Pain Level
While teenagers may be able to describe how they’re feeling fairly accurately, you might not get the same type of information from younger children. That means you’ll need to dig a little deeper to find out when they need your help.
Joint Pain in Children
Some of the signs of joint pain in children to look out for include:
- Noticeable changes in your child’s behavior
- Eating less, being fussy, or getting restless
- Uncontrollable crying, grunting or holding the breath
- Odd facial expressions, like a furrowed brow, a wrinkled forehead, closed eyes, or an angry appearance.
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Body movements, such as making fists, guarding a part of the body (especially while walking), kicking, clinging, or not moving.
Joint Pain in Children: How To Help
1. Use Heat Or Cold
Since juvenile idiopathic arthritis mainly causes pain and inflammation, heating pads or cold packs can help. Both of these have been known to help but it’s up to you and your child to find out what works better.
2. Look Into Using Splints
Splints are sturdy implements that your child can use to keep their joints in place to reduce their pain. There are splints that can be used during daytime activities and those that can be used while they’re sleeping. Using both of these can be a tremendous help.
3. Keep Your Child Active
It might sound strange to recommend exercise to someone who is in pain but studies show that being physically active helps to reduce the discomfort. Talk to your doctor before choosing an activity to make sure your child