How is Juvenile Arthritis Treated?
A treatment is something your doctor does to help you feel better. There are many different treatments for juvenile arthritis. You and your doctor will work with a whole team of other doctors to come up with a plan just for you.
Treating juvenile arthritis is not easy. Some treatments don’t work right away. You may try several different treatments before you feel better. Talk to your doctors and your family if you have trouble sticking with your treatment plan. Even your friends can help, if you ask them to. You can meet other kids who have juvenile arthritis through the Arthritis Foundation’s camps and conferences.
Your doctors will definitely want you to exercise. It may hurt to move around at first. But exercise will keep you strong and flexible. After a while, it will hurt less to move. You will find it easier to do things that used to be hard.
Your doctors will give you specific exercises to do every day. These special movements will help the joints that bother you. Your doctors will want you to do fun types of exercise, too, like swimming or biking. If you have a sport in mind, don’t be afraid to ask if you can try it.
You will probably take more than one medicine to treat your arthritis. It may also take a while for doctors to figure out which ones work best. Some medications come as pills or liquids. Others have to be given as shots. That might sound scary, but believe it or not, many kids learn to give themselves their own shots. That makes it easier because you’re in charge.
Your medicines may make you feel a lot better. Some ease your pain and swelling and lower your fever, others keep JA from hurting you and your joints. Just remember, they aren’t a miracle cure. They might give you an upset stomach, a headache, or make you feel dizzy. Remember, your doctor is giving it to you because it’s good for your JA.
There are several types of medicines your doctor may have you take. Your parents can help you start learning their names and why you take them.
Most kids with juvenile arthritis don’t need an operation, or surgery, but some do. If you have to have one, you will be asleep while doctors work. Many operations can be performed quickly. Others may require a few nights in the hospital. After it’s over, you may hurt for a while. But once you heal, you will have less joint pain.
Juvenile arthritis will always be part of your life. And you will always have to treat it. But remember to focus on other things, too. Have fun, dream big and reach for your goals.