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Children diagnosed with arthritis

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Aching knees when you climb out of bed, fingers and wrists and shoulders that are stiff in the early morning … this sounds like arthritis and old age. But it may also be the complaint of someone very young. Fourteen-year-old Alyson Calder said, "I was first diagnosed with arthritis when I was eight years old in the third grade." And over the next year the pain got worse and spread. Alyson said, "My ankles, my fingers, my knuckles, my wrists, my shoulders, neck, back, you name any joint it probably has arthritis." Now six years later it's just as bad. Arthritic pain isn't confined to the elderly: 300,000 children in the US suffer from arthritis. It's usually diagnosed after a child has had joint pain for several weeks unrelated to any injury or activity. Pediatric rheumatologist Larry Vogler said, "When the child is complaining of their joint hurting and it seems to be worse in the morning than in the afternoons or evenings and that should raise some concern." Typically treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication as well as an exercise regimen to keep their joints loose. Experts say often childhood arthritis fades completely by adulthood and it doesn't usually leave a residual problems. But it doesn't always go away. Alyson still has pain. She's determined to not let it get in her way. Alyson said, "You know, just be happy with who you are, and not that you have a disease or anything. Don't make it the big important thing in your life, just be who you are." Experts suggest that parents call their state chapter of the juvenile arthritis foundation. Foundation members can offer support for the child and the family. For more info visit http://www.arthritis.org/chapters/Carolinas/

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Arthritis Walk

There will be a Arthritis Walk to benefit finding a cure for those young and old suffering with this terrible disease. It will be sometime in Fall of this year. the exact date is being worked out now. Keep checking the website listed above and click the 'Arthritis Walk" link.