Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
The main goal of treatment in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is help them live as normal a life as possible. To be successful, this treatment must address all aspects of the disease, including medical problems and complications, physical functioning, school performance, and social and emotional adjustment.
- Care requires the coordinated efforts of a team of professionals.
- This care may be overseen by the child's primary care professional, with consultation from a specialist in rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and similar conditions (a rheumatologist), preferably one who specializes in rheumatic diseases of children, as well as specialists in eye problems (ophthalmologist), skin problems (dermatologist), heart problems (cardiologist), digestive problems (gastroenterologist), kidney problems (nephrologist), lung problems (pulmonologist), and/or orthopedic surgery, if necessary.
- Medical treatment is only part of the equation. The team also may include physical and occupational therapists and a psychologist or counselor. A social worker can help the family cope with the social, financial, and emotional aspects of the disease.
- Although medication is the cornerstone of treatment of JRA, medication alone is unlikely to be successful if the child is not also receiving appropriate physical therapy, emotional counseling, and school assistance.
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