It's Not Just Growing Pains: A Guide to Childhood Muscle, Bone, and Joint Pain, Rheumatic Diseases, and the Latest Treatments

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Oxford University Press, May 20, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 432 pages
Arthritis is usually considered a disease of older adults, but nearly 300,000 children in the United States suffer from some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease, such as juvenile arthritis (JRA), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, or Kawasaki disease. Yet until now very little information has been available to guide parents and doctors in properly diagnosing such children. Here is a readable, reliable guide to the common causes of bone, joint, muscle, and arthritis pain in children, designed to help parents and physicians understand these disorders, arrive at the proper diagnosis, and choose the most effective treatment. In this comprehensive resource, Dr. Thomas Lehman--the head of one of the most prestigious pediatric rheumatology programs in the world--offers easy-to-understand information on the causes, symptoms, tests, and treatments for a wide variety of rheumatic diseases and childhood pain. Dr. Lehman writes with great clarity, providing numerous case examples that illustrate the topic at hand and offering practical, down-to-earth advice. Equally important, he answers the questions that parents are most likely to ask: What should they observe in their children? What questions should they ask their doctor? Which tests are necessary? What risk factors should they be aware of? And how can they help their children cope with the social and psychological aspects of their illness. The book summarizes diagnostic tests, discusses the most effective medications, and discusses physical therapy, alternative therapy, and surgical options that are available. Clearly written, thorough, authoritative, and up-to-date, It's Not Just Growing Pains is the definitive resource available on the subject for parents and health care professionals, helping them to understand the children's pain and find the best available care.

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It's not just growing pains: a guide to childhood muscle, bone, and joint pain, rheumatic diseases, and the latest treatments

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According to Lehman (pediatric rheumatology, Hosp. for Special Surgery; clinical pediatrics, Weill Medical Coll., Cornell Univ.), childhood pain from serious disorders is often underdiagnosed or ... Read full review

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Dr Lehman's book is an excellent resource for any parent whose child has a form of arthritis. It is also good for adults who have grown up with some form of JA. I am one of those adults. I've used the book to lower my worries when my own child has complained of pain in various places. I still have worries but they are much less now. I am involved in various support groups and anytime a parent is needing information quickly, I turn to this book to help them if possible. I also highly recommend that they buy and read this book with emphasis on reading the appropriate section on their child's form of JA as well as reading all of Part III: Living With a Child Who Has a Chronic Condition.
I've also gained information on answering some of my unanswered questions about my own disease. Even though I am now an adult, my diagnosis remains listed as JRA. Some doctors refer to adult patients as having RA but to me, this leaves out some of the differences between adult RA and JRA.
If your child is experiencing muscle, bone, or joint pain this is an important book to read. Possibly the most important one. My only caveat is the section on fibromyalgia. In the book's definition it states "The generally accepted criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia require widespread pain (above and below the waist and on both the right and left sides) and the presence of at least eleven of eighteen defined 'trigger points.'" Trigger points are NOT the correct term as defined by the ACR. The correct definition per the ACR uses the term "tender points." Further, Dr Devin Starlanyl has a document on her site that defines the two terms and explains the differences between the two as well as stating that "Trigger points are not part of fibromyalgia." Aside from this tiny bit of what I consider inaccurate information (although tender points can have underlying trigger points) I have raved about this book to numerous people. In the Living With a Child Who Has a Chronic Condition section, much of that information can also be applied to adults, especially the sections on medications and immunizations and understanding lab and diagnostic tests.



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About the author (2004)

Thomas J. A. Lehman, MD, FAAP, FACR, is Senior Scientist, Attending Physician, and Chief, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery, and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Rheumatology and a member of the New York Academy of Medicine. He lives in New York City.

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