Rheumatism in children is particularly tricky
According to health experts, around one and a half million Germans suffer from rheumatism. The onset of illness is possible at any age, usually between the ages of 40 and 50. However, rheumatism also affects many children. Health experts explain why the disease is particularly tricky in the little ones.
Not only adults get rheumatism
"1.5 million people - two percent of the adult population suffer from inflammatory rheumatic diseases," writes the German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh) on its website. Most people think of seniors when it comes to rheumatism, but children can also get it. In Germany alone, around 20,000 children and adolescents suffer from painful joint infections. The disease is particularly treacherous for the small ones.
Symptoms in children are difficult to interpret
As the health insurance company Barmer wrote in a message, around 1,500 children in Germany develop rheumatoid arthritis every year.
The symptoms of rheumatism in children are difficult to interpret.
"Young children in particular are not yet able to clearly express rheumatism complaints and are more likely to notice changes in behavior," says Dr. Ursula Marschall, chief medical officer at Barmer.
"The child doesn't want to get up in the morning, is often in a bad mood, less efficient or doesn't want to walk anymore," explains the expert.
If painful joints feel warm and the child no longer wants to strain them, parents should definitely see a pediatrician.
The body's own defense system targets the inner skin of the joint
Joint rheumatism in children and adolescents, also known by doctors as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is said to be due to a disorder of the autoimmune system.
The body's defense system targets the inner skin of the joint, causing inflammation. As a result, more synovial fluid is formed and the joint swells.
But JIA can also express itself in various organs, for example on the eyes, kidneys or skin.
"If the disease is not treated, the affected joint can gradually be destroyed, resulting in poor posture, growth disorders and muscle wasting," explains Marschall.
But with the right therapy and starting therapy early, there are good chances of calming the disease.
The treatment should take place as interdisciplinary as possible and in addition to medicinal products should also include physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Alternative treatments are gentler
In addition, alternative treatment methods such as radon heat therapy in warm healing tunnels can provide patients with relief.
In general, naturopathic treatments appear to be an attractive alternative. Not only are they usually gentler, they are also accompanied by fewer or no side effects.
So far, however, rheumatism has not been cured. (ad)