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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes juvenile arthritis?

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  • 1




    Dr Damien McKay

    Paediatric Rheumatologist

    Dr. Damien McKay is a paediatrician and paediatric rheumatologist with additional expertise and training in paediatric sports and exercise medicine. Damien currently holds positions as … View Profile

    We do not know the causes of JIA. However, we do know it is an auto-immune condition. Our bodies have an immune system which fights germs or viruses to keep us healthy. Sometimes the body's immune system mistakes a normal part of the body for something foreign (like a germ), and starts attacking the body itself. In JIA the immune system attacks the joints. This is called an auto-immune process. We don't understand precisely how, or why this happens.

  • 2


    Carolyn Harloff

    HealthShare Member

    My 12 year old son reports a pain level of 8 in hand hands/fingers and wrists at rest. He finds writing very painful (10) and this is causing him no end of angst at school. He was a representative swimmer until recently and has trouble holding onto his stick on the hockey field. His history began 4 years ago when he underwent intensive physio to rectify tight calf and thigh muscles and low flexibility. He then suffered bursitis (left heel). Then had an issue with disassociative pain disorder from lack of movement during the above mentioned episode. His fingers and wrists constantly crack. He has shoulder pain and great difficulty sleeping. He is quite tall for his age and has rapid growth spurts. I have tried physio, chiro, gp, occupational therapists. He is now very depressed. His X-rays and blood tests are normal BUT I can't let this go. He paricipate very well in life but the past few months have seen the decline of his mental health. I'm at my wits end. I really need someone who will investigate and give me an answer. Looking forward to any advice. 

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