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Oligoarthritis - Treatment

Written by Dr. Varshini Jayaraman,  Ph.D. | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Feb 25, 2016
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Treatment of Oligoarthritis

In order to effectively treat arthritis in children, a team of medical professions comprising of physicians, nurses, paramedical staff (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians) pediatric rheumatologists work together. It is very essential for the parents to extend their cooperation to enjoy the benefit of the multi-faceted treatment.

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Pain and inflammation relieving drugs are usually given. This class of medications is usually called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Another class of drugs that need special mention in this regard is the use of disease modifying anti rheumatoid drugs (DMARDs). These drugs in addition to reducing the infection prevent further progress of the disease. Latest development in the drug treatment is the use of novel agents called ‘biologics’. Corticosteroid injections may be directly given into the affected joints. It can ensure prevention of uneven length of legs. This kind of treatment however may not suit every child. The steroids or immunosuppressive agents should not be used in this group of patients.

The physiotherapist can suggest some exercises to strengthen the muscles, maintain the flexibility of the joint. It may also be possible in some cases to achieve normal limb growth.

In addition to the above-mentioned treatments, regular eye check ups are vital to preserve and protect vision. If eye damage has already occurred, cortisone eye drops are given to treat the associated uveitis.

Role of Alternative Therapies

Diet Supplements: The known forms of diet supplements that claim to provide relief for arthritis can provide moderate relief only for adults suffering from osteoarthritis. This however is also associated with side effects. No observed clinical benefit has so far been documented in the treatment of childhood arthritis with any of the dietary supplements.

Fish Oil: Fish oil contains a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids and this substance can reduce inflammation. However, in order to observe real benefit, many capsules have to be consumed. It has now been found that this protective effect may only be temporary, not exceeding 6 months.

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Comments

jaynelwells

Just found information on this subject on another site: - Via Lana, Patient Advocate at ArthritisConnect: "Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints. Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis works somewhat in that manner. Pauciarticular means "few joints." This means that the pauciarticular type of juvenile arthritis involves only a few joints. About half of children with juvenile arthritis have the pauciarticular type. For half of the children with pauciarticular juvenile arthritis, only one joint will be involved, usually a knee or ankle. This is called monoarticular juvenile arthritis. These patients usually have a very mild arthritis and the symptoms may go away or become less noticeable [remit]. In adults acute monoarthritis overlaps with causes of oligoarthritis or polyarthritis since virtually any arthritic disorder can initially present as one swollen joint. Causes of Monoarticular arthritis can be as simple as an overuse injury or fracture to gout, lyme disease, or septic arthritis (bacterial, fungal, or parasitic). And gout does not always just affect the big toe. Moreover, in rheumatoid arthritis, some of the earliest signs of the disease are in the hands and fingers. With RA, the smallest joints, toes and fingers are affected first. So if three months have passed and the pain is there, then more tests are needed to find out what is going on."

jaynelwells

When I was 6 or 7, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis was mentioned once when I was taken to the emergency room with joint pain; but was never officially diagnosed. When I was younger, the problem was limited to my knees and ankles. As I got older the pain has increased to my hips, back, shoulders, basically all over. I've always treated it with heat and ibuprofen. I am glad to see that there is finally a diagnosis that fits: Oligoarthritis. Working out helps quite a bit [I have to work through the pain].

arthritis-guy

Most of the time that a child has arthritis it is either Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or osteoarthritis caused by a trauma to a joint. An infection can also cause arthritis in a joint but it will usually disappear when the infection is treated. Also rarely other forms of autoimmune diseases can cause arthritis in children.

Elaine73

I was 13 years of age when I experienced severe joint pain: the worst was the joint I sat on in class or in a vehicle (one hour trip was excruciatingly painful). Next it was my knees, then shoulders and wrists. The joints were swollen, red and hot to touch. The pain lasted off & on for about 4 or 5 years, then subsided for about 25 years. It started again at about age 45. Now I am 73 and have osteoarthritis in my spine and knees. Is there any help for me, other than just pain killers such as Tylenol?

peterpan56

There is not much information here about Juvenile Arthritis.

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