Clinical update

Childhood arthritis

About 15,000 children and young people are believed to have arthritis, a condition that causes joint inflammation and pain.

Essential facts

About 15,000 children and young people are believed to have arthritis, a condition that causes joint inflammation and pain. Most types of childhood arthritis are known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The exact cause of JIA is unknown but it is treatable and many children affected have an excellent quality of life.

Picture credit: iStock

The charity Arthritis Care has called for greater awareness of the condition among healthcare professionals and launched a new information booklet for families. Quicker diagnosis and referral can improve care for children with the condition. It can sometimes be missed because it is often considered a condition that only affects adults. The British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) has previously highlighted a delay in diagnosis and difficulty accessing specialist teams around the country.

JIA causes persistent joint pain, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness. The

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