Juvenile spondyloarthritis is a type of arthritis that typically affects the joints associated with the spine, as well as the knee, ankle, hip, and shoulder joints. While juvenile spondyloarthritis can technically affect children or adults, the name can be a little misleading, as it most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 20 and 30. However, an estimated one in every six cases of the condition develops during the teenage years.
Experienced rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker has seen the toll of spondyloarthritis and its long-term effects on the lives of patients. To better understand its effects and the treatments that may be able to relieve your pain and improve your health, call Dr. Baker at (310) 274-7770 to schedule a consultation in Beverly Hills.
What Causes Juvenile Spondyloarthritis?
While a clear and direct cause for the condition is relatively unknown, factors like genetics and heredity are believed to potentially play a role in the development of the disease. It is estimated that there are as many as 500,0000 cases of spondyloarthritis in the United States.
Common Symptoms of Spondyloarthritis
The symptoms can vary depending on the type, and the particular joint affected by the characteristic inflammation, but the most common symptoms are typically pain, swelling, and tenderness at or near the joint site. The tendons and ligaments that connect muscle to bone can also be affected.
Common types of Juvenile Spondyloarthritis
There are several different categories of spondyloarthritis: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
The inflammation associated with ankylosing spondylitis can cause spinal fusion (fusing together of the vertebrae in the spinal column), which can result in rigidity and stiffness in the spine, as well as a “hunched back” effect. AS can also affect the ribs, which can result in difficulty breathing. AS is more common in men and can lead to swelling and inflammation beyond the joints, such as in the eyes. There is currently no cure for AS, however, a rheumatologist can typically treat the pain and discomfort associated with the symptoms of the condition. The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips, particularly in the morning, and after periods of prolonged inactivity.
Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis (JAS)
When Ankylosing spondylitis occurs in children, it is known as juvenile ankylosing spondylitis.
Enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA)
Enthesitis causes swelling and inflammation to the connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) that attach bones. It is most common in the lower extremities (hips and knees) in children and teenagers. Inflammation can also affect the heel and ball of the foot. It can also affect the shoulders, and spread to other parts of the body, like the eyes (uveitis), which leads to pain and irritation and redness.
Reactive arthritis (ReA)
Reactive arthritis usually develops as a secondary result of an infection in another part of the body, most commonly the GI (gastrointestinal tract). Some of the symptoms associated with ReA include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping. The long term effects of ReA on both adults and children are inconclusive. Some children experience a complete resolution of the condition, while other patients continue to experience swelling and inflammation in the joints, and may even develop Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis (JAS) over time.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) related and Psoriatic Arthritis
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can cause inflammation in the joints of the arms, legs, and spine. Some cases of psoriasis can also produce arthritis.
Treatment Options for Juvenile Spondyloarthritis
Because there are different manifestations of spondyloarthritis with varying degrees of severity from patient to patient, Dr. Susan Baker, an experienced rheumatologist in Beverly Hills will evaluate each patient individually to determine the extent of the condition and the most appropriate course of treatment for each patient. She focuses specifically on obtaining an accurate diagnosis, providing effective pain management, and maintaining and enhancing quality of life for each patient.
To learn more about juvenile spondyloarthritis, visit WebMD.com.
Contact an Experienced Rheumatologist in Los Angeles
Contact Dr. Baker today at (310) 274-7770 to schedule a consultation in Beverly Hills.
Next read about dermatomyositis.