HD Physical Therapy Marks July as Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

BURLINGTON, Mass. - July 26, 2022 - PRLog -- July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increase awareness of early signs and symptoms of juvenile arthritis and to highlight resources. The condition affects 300,000 children nationwide, making it one of the most common childhood diseases.

Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues. Juvenile arthritis (JA) is a term used to describe the many conditions in children ages 16 and younger. It is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks its healthy cells and tissues. The result is inflammation, which can cause joint damage. Doctors do not know why the immune system attacks healthy tissues in children. Scientists suspect that it is a two-step process. First, something in a child's genetic makeup gives him or her a tendency to develop JA; then an environmental factor, such as a virus, triggers the development of the disease.

The most common symptoms of all types of juvenile arthritis are persistent joint swelling, pain and stiffness. JA commonly affects the knees and the joints in the hands and feet. One of the earliest signs of JA may be limping in the morning because of an affected knee.

The most important step in properly treating your child's JA is getting an accurate diagnosis. The diagnostic process can be long and detailed. The child's pediatrician will likely recommend that you visit a pediatric rheumatologist for a physical exam plus lab work, x-rays and other imaging tests.

There is no cure for juvenile arthritis. The goal of treatment for JA is to control pain levels, reduce inflammation, maintain mobility and improve your child's quality of life. Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical therapy and healthy living; therefore, an important member of your child's health care team is their physical therapist! A PT can work with your child to develop a plan of exercises that will improve joint function and strengthen muscles, without causing further harm to affected joints. Having arthritis can be part of your child's life – not the focus of their life.

The HDPT offices in Wakefield and Burlington have no waiting lists for new patients, accept all health insurance plans, support direct access to care (no MD referrals necessary,) offer same day appointments, have two notable locations along major highways, have convenient hours that fit any schedule and always offer free injury screenings and tours. We are adhering to all safety recommendations and guidelines. Please visit the 'COVID-19 & Physical Therapy' webpage for even more information.

At HD Physical Therapy, we are committed to the health and happiness of our patients. Everyday we work to restore each person's maximal function with consistency and compassion. Offering distinctive, inventive and proven rehabilitation treatment, our devoted professionals strive to deliver a successful and enjoyable experience to every patient we meet. For more information about HD Physical Therapy, please visit https://www.HDPTonline.com and follow us on all social media platforms.

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Lauren J. D'Addario
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