Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Aysegul Cakmak, MD; Nalan Bolukbas, MD


South Med J. 2005;98(2):212-216. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Juvenile arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the childhood period (ages 0 to 16 years). This disease was first defined in the first half of the 16th century. In the course of time, its differential diagnosis and characteristics have been determined, and it has been classified. Incidence and prevalence values are 10 to 20 in 100,000 and 56 to 113 in 100,000, respectively. Various factors are suggested for its underlying cause. Its denomination is also in dispute. Treatment of juvenile arthritis includes education, medical treatment, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. This article summarizes the objectives and methods of physical therapy and rehabilitation that are important parts of treatment.

Juvenile arthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases in the childhood period (ages 0-16). It may lead to functional deficiency in the musculoskeletal system and blindness. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) is arbitrarily defined as arthritis beginning before the age of 16 years. In most instances, the onset age is between 1 and 3 years, and it is rarely diagnosed before 6 months of age. Despite the fact that incidence and prevalence vary among countries, the average rates of incidence and prevalence are reported to be 10 to 20 in 100,000 and 56 to 113 in 100,000, respectively.[1,2] The etiopathogenesis of JRA is summarized in the Table .


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