July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.

That's right, kids get arthritis.  It is a common misconception that only 'old' people are afflicted with arthritis.  Nearly 300,000 children in American have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. 

The form of arthritis that these kids experience is not the same as grandma's aches and pains.  These children suffer from various autoimmune forms of arthritis.  Their body's immune system is attacking their joints, causing swelling, stiffness and permanent damage.  This condition is extremely serious; if let untreated it can result in loss of mobility, blindness and even death.  

There are several different types of Juvenile Arthritis (JA), but the Arthritis Foundation says that "Although the various types of JA share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, each type of JA is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms."

Unfortunately, there is no cure for juvenile arthritis.  But, it is important to talk to your doctor to come up with the best treatment plan to manage the condition.  Usually, your doctor will recommend taking some medication that can relieve inflammation and control pain, as well as to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into your lifestyle.  

Sources:  Medikidz.com & Curearthritis.org