Remission and Flares

Remission is a period when arthritis symptoms and physical exam findings dissapear.  Only your child's doctor can decdide when your child is in remission.  To do that he or she will do an exam.  An exam is needed because arthritis is considered active if even one joint is inflamed.

Remission Criteria

  • Criteria for inactive disease
    1. NO joints with active arthritis
    2. NO fever, rash, serositis (inflammation of the tissues lining the lungs, heart, abdomen, or organs within, no enlargement of the spleen or lymph nodes that can be attributed to juvenile arthritis)
    3. NO active uveitis, or inflammation of the eye
    4. NORMAL C-reactive proteins and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) when tested
    5. NO disease activity indicated on the physician's global assessment of disease activity

  • Criteria for clinical remission ON medication
    The criteria for inactive disease must be met for a minimum of six continuous months while the patient is on medication.

  • Criteria for clinical remission OFF medication
    The criteria for inactive disease must be met for a minimum of 12 continuous months while off all arthritis medications.

Read more about remission in Kids Get Arthritis Too (Downloadable PDF).

 

Flares

A flare is when arthritis is more active.  Your child may not feel as well, have pain or have a joint that is swollen, pink or doesn't move as well.  Here are a few ways you cab help your child through one:

  • Make sure your child takes medicine on time to avoid flares caused by lack of medicine.
  • Call your child's doctor if you suspect your child is having a flare.
  • Apply ice to sore joints for 20 minutes at a time with 10 minute breaks.
  • After the first 24 hours, heat may be soothingfor sore joints.  Ask the doctor to teach you massage for achy joints.
  • Change your child's activities so they are easier to do when they are in pain.  Keep your child active tokeep up their muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Be supportive.
  • Ask your child's doctor about using splints at night.
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