From pain reliever commercials on TV to your own bout with achy and stiff joints after a long day, you may think that adults are the only ones that can suffer by the symptoms caused by arthritis. But what may surprise you is that kids can develop this condition, too. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 1 in every 250 children develop some type of chronic Juvenile Arthritis (JA) during their childhood, falling victim to the same painful symptoms as adults.
Translated directly from Greek meaning “inflammation of a joint,” Arthritis is one of the most common chronic health problems in the United States, and the number one cause of disability. The CDC reports that about 23 percent of adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with arthritis or suffer from chronic joint symptoms such as swelling, pain and stiffness. While the risk of developing arthritis does increase with age, kids are not spared from the condition, with an estimated 300,000 children being diagnosed in the U.S. alone.
Due to the lack of awareness of JA, it often goes undiagnosed in children, with parents sometimes confusing its symptoms with the normal aches and pains of childhood. In honor of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, let’s get to know the important facts about this misunderstood childhood disease.
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