Pediatric rheumatologist Linda Kho,M.D. said joint pain is common in childhood. Children who suffer from pain in the joints may experience impaired physical, emotional, social and role functioning as well as sleep disturbances and fatigue.
“In this case, there’s also increased stress and low mood in children,” she said.
The expert said both inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions can be associated with joint pain. The most prevalent musculoskeletal pain complaints in children seen in primary care clinics include arthralgias (pain in joints) of the knee, she said.
“Most complaints are benign in nature and attributable to trauma, overuse, or developmental variants.”
Also, Kho said prolong periods of joint pain may result in infections or can be associated with chronic health conditions such as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and other rheumatic diseases and with diseases such as cancer and pain syndromes.
She said joint pain in childhood can only be adequately understood in the context of the child and family; thus, multidisciplinary assessment is desirable.
Patient self-report is a key source of pain information and should be considered alongside knowledge of clinical context and behavioral observation, Kho said.
The red flags of childhood joint pains include nocturnal or night time bone or joint pain with or without systemic signs. This should alert clinicians to exclude malignancy, she said.
On the other hand, benign (non-cancerous) joint pains are best managed by primary care providers who may provide information to family, simple analgesics if needed, an exercise regimen and improved sleep hygiene.
MISHMASHING: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 JOHN 5:12 KJV (Ana Theresa Williams,BSN,RN)