What is Juvenile Arthritis?
Juvenile arthritis is a disease that attacks joints. Joints are places in your body where bones meet (anywhere you can move). In your legs, bones meet at the knees. In your arms, bones meet at the elbows.
When you have juvenile arthritis, joints all over your body can swell and hurt. That makes it hard to move around. You may feel stiff in the morning. You may have trouble walking, running or even holding a pencil.
Juvenile arthritis (JA) can make you feel different from everyone around you. But you’re not alone. Almost 300,000 kids in the United States have JA. If you’re one of them, learning more about it can help.
There are many types of juvenile arthritis with different names. They all make your joints hurt, but some of them bother other parts of your body too. You’ll learn more about the different types in the next section.
Doctors don’t know why some people get JA. They do know it isn’t anyone’s fault. You don’t get juvenile arthritis from sneaking junk food. You don’t get it from skipping your vitamins. It isn’t catching either. That means you can’t give it to your friends.
Juvenile arthritis is sometimes tough to handle. It might stop you from doing everything you want to do. But every type can be treated. Many kids who have JA dance, play sports and play musical instruments. They try new activities and reach new goals. With treatment, you will, too.