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Doctors do not know exactly what causes juvenile arthritis. We know there is a problem with the immune system. The immune system has difficulty telling the difference between the body's own tissues and damaging germs. This confusion causes the immune system to attack and damage the body's healthy tissues on the inside of the joints, as well as in other places. This causes inflammation, swelling, and extra fluid that make the joints swollen and painful.
Gentle massage and stretching can help soothe the muscles and sore joints. Heat is also very helpful. Getting up and moving helps lessen the discomfort that comes from stiffness. Exercise helps maintain normal joint motion and muscle strength. A physical therapist can help with this. Nutrition is also important and you may ask to see a dietician to learn about a healthy diet. It is also important to keep a positive mental outlook. Children with JA should try to attend school and stay involved with activities and other children.