When you think of arthritis, you think of the elderly it affects. We usually do not associate arthritis with children and young adults. Contrary to this misconception, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 300,000 children and young adults have reported that they have been diagnosed with arthritis. There are likely thousands of unreported cases, those whom have not been to a physician or health care provider, and therefore, not recognized in the statistics. Age is not a factor for arthritis; it can affect young and old alike.
Children and young adults face challenges that are entirely different than those that the older generations have to face. Children and young adults are less able to describe their symptoms, which may lead to a delayed diagnosis. Parents may attribute the pain to “growing pains” or dismiss them altogether. They are also in their most active years of life. Their peers do not understand their condition, and those affected may start to feel isolated from the friends.
Children and young adults are dependent on their parents to be aware of the signs of arthritis in the young. They should seek a physician’s care to discuss the symptoms they have witnessed. An early diagnosis may be key in preventing joint damage and the deterioration of cartilage. A physician may want to start the child on a nutraceutical supplement, such as Synflex®, to see if it will aid in the discomfort. Always check with your healthcare provider before you give a child any supplement or medication.