Contrary to common belief, young people can develop arthritic conditions. There is no denying that age is the most common factor when it comes to most types of arthritis, but age isn’t the only risk factor, nor is age-related arthritis the only form of the disease. To successfully explain why children, teenagers, and even young adults can develop arthritis, we need to understand the disease in more detail first.
Arthritis: A Brief Introduction to the Disease
Most conditions that afflict our bone joints and/or the surrounding tissue in a way so as to cause inflammation and pain can be categorized under the broad umbrella term arthritis. According to the CDC, more than one hundred different types of arthritis have been discovered so far, which provides us with an idea of the term’s vagueness. While the symptoms might be similar in most cases, the disease and its effects are not. Arthritis can and does affect people from all generations, and knee joints suffer the most in a large percentage of all arthritic patients.
Most forms of juvenile arthritis (JA), including JIA are treatable, controllable and manageable, but not curable. However, with a timely diagnosis and a proper treatment plan in place, the majority of arthritic patients can hope to lead an active life with precautions. This does not just apply to young patients, but senior citizens as well.
Since the knee is our most vulnerable and debilitating joint, prone to frequent arthritic inflammation irrespective of one’s age, management will become increasingly difficult unless treated from an early stage. For further information on the best possible options in knee arthritis treatment St Louis, contact Kneecare Clinics.
What Kind of Arthritis Affects Younger Generations?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type that affects most people in US and the world in general. It is a degenerative disease, brought on by age in most cases. This is not to say that younger generations cannot or do not develop symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, but the principal cause becomes invalid here, due to their young age.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) affects roughly one in every thousand American children, and remains the most dominant form of arthritis to affect younger generations across the world. The symptoms may only become more prominent later in some cases, but children with JIA will have at least some symptom of arthritis before they reach sixteen.
JIA can be further categorized into several subcategories, but three major subtypes encompass all forms of known juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The following three subcategories are created based on certain shared similarities and symptoms between the various JIA subtypes.
- Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – When a young patient develops JIA in at least one, but no more than four joints.
- Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – When a young patient develops arthritis in at least five or more joints.
- Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – When a young patient develops multipoint arthritis, alongside additional symptoms such as frequent fever, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash.
Unfortunately, as indicated by the term idiopathic, there is no established cause which can be attributed to the condition. Vague as it is, dormant genetic factors triggered by a foreign object, or germ (bacteria virus, parasites, etc.) is the best, unproven theory that doctors have at this time.