Helping you detect, treat and manage arthritis

Do it for the kids! Juvenile arthritis: Exercise, models of care, and advocacy

Four kids playing at the park

In honour of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, we have compiled a list of interviews from this year’s CRA Annual Scientific Meeting & AHPA Annual Meeting in Ottawa. The interviews below highlight models of care, advocacy, clinical practices, and different therapy options for juvenile arthritis. 

Interview 5 – Cheryl Koehn with Kelsey Chomistek – JIA & the road to become a rheum

Cheryl Koehn from Arthritis Consumer Experts interviews Kelsey Chomistek ( on JIA advocacy and the road to becoming a rheumatologist.

Interview 11 – Cheryl Koehn with Dr. Marinka Twilt – Juvenile arthritis

Cheryl Koehn interviews Dr. Marinka Twilt, paediatric rheumatologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (…) about juvenile arthritis.

Interview 17 – Cheryl Koehn with Dr. Kristin Houghton – Sports medicine & keeping kids active!

Cheryl Koehn interviews Dr. Kristin Houghton, a paediatric rheumatologist from the BC Children’s Hospital (, about sports medicine and keeping kids active.

Interview 18 – Cheryl Koehn with Dr. Lori Tucker – Models of care for kids with arthritis

Cheryl Koehn interviews Dr. Lori Tucker, paediatric rheumatologist at the BC Children’s Hospital ( and Professor at the Department of Rheumatology at the University of British Columbia, about models of care for kids with arthritis.

Interview 30 – Katie LeBlanc with Sabrina Cavallo – Clinical practice guidelines for JIA

Katie LeBlanc from the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board of Arthritis Research Canada interviews Sabrina Cavallo, a paediatric occupational therapist, about clinical practice guidelines for physical activity in the management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

About juvenile arthritis

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is chronic inflammatory arthritis developing in children under the age of 16 years. Previously called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis strikes up to one in 1000 children and is one of the most common chronic diseases among children.

There are seven subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, defined by the ILAR international criteria:

  • Oligoarticular-the most common form of the disease. About half of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis are diagnosed with the oligoarticular form. Generally, one to four joints are affected. Most common joints include knees, ankles, or wrist. Up to 20% of children diagnosed with the oligoarticular form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis will develop uveitis (inflammation in the eyes).
  • Extended oligoarticular-approximately 30% of children whose JIA starts in fewer than 4 joints will develop arthritis in many joints at some point in their disease; this is called ‘extended’.
  • Polyarticular (rheumatoid factor positive and rheumatoid factor negative)-JIA affecting five or more joints. Any joint can be involved, and usually the arthritis is symmetric (the same on both sides of the body). Children who have a positive rheumatoid factor (RF) have a more persistent and severe type of polyarticular disease.
  • Enthesitis related arthritis-this form of JIA occurs more commonly in school aged or older children, boys more than girls. Arthritis can affect large joints such as the hip, knee, ankles, as well as the back and neck. Some of these children have inflammation of ligament and tendon attachments, called enthesitis. A small percentage of these children go on to develop ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Psoriatic arthritis-children may have arthritis and psoriasis, or arthritis and a strong family history of psoriasis. This form of arthritis can affect any joint.
  • Systemic onset-the most severe form of the disease, affecting about 10% of children diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Children with systemic onset JIA present quite ill with high fevers, rash, and inflammation of organs in addition to inflammation in the joints.

To learn more about juvenile arthritis, please click here.