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Mental health: Young adults’ in the U. Young Adults’ Experiences of Depression in the U. A paediatric rheumatologist explains what arthritis is. From a point of arthritis in children and young people it is a painful swelling of a joint.
And that is due to inflammation of the lining of the joint and then causing increased fluid within the joint and that’s what causes swelling and it’s painful and slightly warm and albeit not very red and if it was very red you’d worry about it being infected. But that’s really the simple definition of what arthritis is. Obviously there are then different types of arthritis and I think the most important issue with young people with arthritis is that it is a different arthritis to what adults get. And the main form of inflammatory arthritis or arthritis due to inflammation in young people under the age of sixteen is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, of which there are seven types. But that is the main umbrella term for arthritis affecting young people. Then once you’re over sixteen, then yes you can get the more adult rheumatoid arthritis — ankylosing spondylitis.
They are different diseases to juvenile idiopathic arthritis which is the commonest inflammatory arthritis in young people. The very old definition was called Still’s disease defined by Frederick Stills way, way back and then came juvenile chronic arthritis and the most recent internationally approved term is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Idiopathic being a term that only doctors use and means we don’t know what causes it. And hopefully one day with research and everything we will be able to drop that term because we will know what causes it. It is an adult disease that primarily affects the sort of forty year old plus although younger, younger adults can get rheumatoid arthritis.