Juvenile arthritis

I’m getting older, there’s no doubt in that. Sometimes when I crouch down to play with the kids I get an audible click from both my knees. I put this down to a love of jumping off things when I was younger. Before all this trendy parkour/free jumping stuff came in, I was was wearing garish 1980’s colours and jumping of the single story flat roof extension my mum and dad had built in 1984. 

I remember the line from that song Sunshine a few years back, “Look after your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.” I know I’ll miss them by the aches and pains I occasionally have now days but I can’t imagine what it’s like for the 15,000 kids in the UK today that suffer from juvenile arthritis. Arthritis is something I’ve always associated with the elderly, I remember my great aunts hands getting twisted by it when she was in her 90’s but one in a thousand under 18’s suffers from it in the UK. Just as in adult arthritis, it causes inflammation, pain and swelling in the joints. So when Jo from Arthritis Research UK asked me to highlight their work and the plight of youngsters with juvenile arthritis, it certainly opened my eyes. 

It’s a subject matter that’s well worth having a look at because if you’re not aware of something, you might not be aware that you’re little one suffers from it. One is a thousand isn’t that great an odd really is it?

The good news is juvenile arthritis doesn’t have to ruin a life, it is treatable and having juvenile  arthritis doesn’t mean that a child will go on to develop adult forms of arthritis.

The bad news is there isn’t a great deal known about the causes of it. That’s where Arthritis Research UK comes in. As the name suggests, they fund research into arthritis but they also provide education, information and training in understanding it and dealing with it to. After all, research doesn’t help current sufferers.

Even if you don’t think or imagine it’ll affect you, have a shufty because you might be the enlightened person that spots it a friends child and frees them from the constant pain.