Juvenile chronic arthritis describes a group of rheumatic diseases that affect children at or before the age of 16. Though relatively uncommon, juvenile arthritis can cause severe pain and stiffness and greatly interfere with growth and development.
The exact cause of juvenile chronic arthritis is unknown, but a combination of genetic predisposition and autoimmune dysfunction is thought to be involved. Symptoms are often managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (naproxen, ibuprofen) and physical therapy exercises. 50-75% of children with JCA will experience complete remission with appropriate treatment.