OrthoCare Express Logo | CT Orthopedic Urgent Care
Get Moving! OrthoConnecticut blog banner

Juvenile Arthritis Wrist PainJuvenile arthritis (JA) refers to a group of chronic inflammatory diseases that affect children and teenagers. An autoimmune condition, the exact cause of juvenile arthritis is not yet fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

It is important to work with a doctor to help guide you and your child through JA. The discussion of medication, pain management, physical activity, emotional support, and diet is critical to the overall well being of your child. It can seem overwhelming, but one of the easiest changes to make in the life of a child with JA is through food.

Eating a healthy diet is important for any growing child, but children with juvenile arthritis (JA) face an additional challenge: Eating foods that promote growth and development and help quiet inflammation. Diet can play a role in managing the symptoms of juvenile arthritis. While there is no specific diet that can cure the condition, certain dietary choices may help reduce inflammation, support overall health, and improve symptoms.

Here are some diet tips for managing pain in juvenile arthritis:

  1. Maintain a balanced diet: Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your meals. This helps ensure you receive essential nutrients to support your overall health.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids: incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce joint pain and inflammation.
  3. Limit processed foods: Minimize or avoid highly processed foods, including sugary snacks, fast food, and packaged meals. These foods often contain additives and unhealthy fats that can promote inflammation.
  4. Antioxidant-rich foods: Consume foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, cherries, spinach, kale, and broccoli. Antioxidants can help protect cells from damage and support a healthy immune system.
  5. Reduce refined sugars: Limit your intake of refined sugars found in sugary beverages, desserts, and processed snacks. High sugar consumption can contribute to inflammation and may worsen arthritis symptoms.
  6. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration. Water helps keep joints lubricated and supports overall bodily functions.
  7. Maintain a healthy weight: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on your joints. Excess weight can exacerbate arthritis pain and inflammation.
  8. Consider food sensitivities: Some individuals with arthritis may have food sensitivities that can trigger symptoms. Keep a food diary to identify any potential trigger foods and consult with a healthcare professional to explore elimination diets if needed.

Healthy eating should also be family-friendly. Eating to support a child with JA is good for the entire family, so avoid singling anyone out and ensure the entire family enjoys this healthy approach to nutrition and diet.

Lastly, ask for help. It’s a great idea to work closely with a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietician in concert with your child’s rheumatologist, to help provide personalized dietary recommendations and guidance based on your child’s specific condition and needs.

Related Resources:

Contact us today to learn more or to make an appointment.