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Juvenile Arthritis Affects People 16 and Under

Part 2 of 2 - Living With Juvenile Arthritis


Updated June 27, 2014

Observation and Communication Are Key

Very young children may not realize what is wrong when they feel pain. Children may not know how or may not be able to express complaint about the stiffness, achiness, and pain they are feeling. Those who are observed having trouble climbing steps, throwing a ball, opening a door, or just walking may be in need of a physical assessment by a physician. Parents and teachers need to be aware that arthritis affects children too. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential.

Living With Arthritis Dredges Up Emotions for People of All Ages

The emotions dredged up by illness affect children too. Even after diagnosis, children may fight to deny their illness, overdo playtime, or not get enough rest. They may feel angry and not want to take their medications. Yet, other children will cope very well. Family, friends, teachers, and others who surround the child with arthritis, must try to understand the disease and the challenges it presents. Better understanding of the disease can help with coping and adapting to the challenges of juvenile arthritis.

A Lifetime of Pain

Imagine the difficulty an adult faces, learning to live and cope with the chronic pain of arthritis. Many children with juvenile arthritis are so young when they get the disease, they are unaware of what living without chronic pain would be like. Children with the disease face the challenge of trying to grow up and cope with the affliction at the same time.

I was first diagnosed in 1974 with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 19 and have some recollection of what it is like to "feel no pain". I was always grateful that I was able to go through my formative years and school years without the disease. The problems that the rheumatoid arthritis caused for me were adult problems. See: Surviving The Loss Of Oneself (My Story)


The Duke University Medical Center Book Of Arthritis, by David S. Pisetsky, M.D, Ph.D.

Primer of the Rheumatic Diseases. Arthritis Foundation. Thirteenth Edition.

Go Back to Part 1 --- Arthritis Affects Children Too --->

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