There are many forms of arthritis which affect children and young adults. Simply saying a child has JRA is not enough.  It’s like being told you are being given a dog.  Sounds useful until you go home and wonder whether it’s a cocker spaniel or a St Bernard, old or young, friendly or ….  You quickly realize you don’t have nearly enough information.  On the following pages I have provided information which I make available to patients and families at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

This page is provided by Thomas J. A. Lehman MD

Delivering the best care - with great care

 Dr. Lehman is the author of many textbook chapters and articles on the care of children and young adults with rheumatic diseases.  He practices in New York City.  Click here for more information about Dr. Lehman or the Hospital for Special Surgery.


Does your child have “growing pains”?

Causes of back pain in children


My recently published book is    30% off today at


It’s not just growing pains.
A guide to childhood muscle, bone, and joint pain,
rheumatic diseases and the latest treatments:  A guide for parents and professionals

Oxfdord University Press 418 pages, June 2004

Reviewers comments


    Dr. Tom Lehmans experience and compassion are evident on every page of this book, and they help guide the readerchild, parent, and healthcare professional alike through the world of childhood arthritis.  This book is an absolute gem written with a single goal in mind:  improve the lives of kids with arthritis. -- Jack Klippel, M.D. President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation


     Dr. Lehman has given parents and families of children with arthritis the first book that speaks to the parent and child as equals.  His book explains the illnesses, the medications, the lab tests, and the disease course in simple, understandable lay language and givens them valuable insight into how a pediatric rheumatologist thinks.  Bravo!-- Charles Spencer, M.D., Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Chicago, La Rabida

"A must have for any family with a child who has a rheumatic disease! I personally found this book to very informative. Dr. Lehman, as always, gives families a clear understanding of their choice of treatments and what they can expect from their child's rheumatic disease."Kathy Gaither, Juvenile Scleroderma Network, Inc.

"This comprehensive guidebook is a must-read for pediatricians and health care professionals who treat children and adolescents. For parents of children who have already been diagnosed with rheumatic disease, as well as children who have baffling, undiagnosed symptoms, this book will be a valuable resource."Enid Engelhard, CSW, Director of Social Services, S.L.E. Foundation, Inc.


Click here to order -- at


Click here to see the table of contents

     It has always been a frustration trying to answer the many questions I have received from people over the web.  I can’t take the time and give them the detail I would like to.  I have to take care of my patients.  This book is a distillation of my experience answering questions for parents and health professionals over 25 years of practice.  If you want to know about the diseases, the tests, the medications, or how to be sure you are getting the best care– If you are the family member of a child with joint pains, this book will give you the answers.  If you are a general physician, a pediatrician, or a nurse who cares for children with these diseases it will answer many of the questions families ask you, and you can recommend it to them.  It will also answer many of your questions about what shots to give, what precautions to take, and the other questions families, pediatricians, and other health care providers have asked me over the years.

The major cause of poor outcomes for children with rheumatic diseases in the United States today is the delay in getting the proper diagnosis and the proper treatment.  The majority of children under the care of an experienced pediatric rheumatologist do well.  For too many children it took too long to get to an experienced pediatric rheumatologist.  Fireman are great at putting out fires, but if you want to prevent the house from burning down you have to call them at the first sign of a fire, not wait until you’re sure you are in trouble.  With proper medication we can stop most rheumatic diseases, but we can’t always repair all the damage that was done before the child got to us.  I want people to read my book so they can be sure they are getting the proper care for their children.  Then I want them to share the book with their doctors so their doctors can be sure they are giving children the proper care.

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If you have continuing concerns after reading these materials you may wish to contact your local office of the Arthritis Foundation. The national office is in Atlanta, Georgia.
 The Arthritis Foundation

There is a new organization for the parents of children with arthritis in the United Kingdom. The Children's Chronic Arthritis Association can be reached at 47 Battenhall Ave, Worcester England WR5 2HN telephone 01905 763556

There is also help available from the Spondylitis Association of America P.O. Box 5872, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413 phone 800-777-8189

Help can also be obtained from the Juvenile Scleroderma Network and the Scleroderma Foundation

Dr. Lehman is the author of many textbook chapters and articles on the care of children and young adults with SLE.  He practices in New York City.  Click here for more information about Dr. Lehman or the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Click here for The Lupus Foundation web page

The Arthritis Foundation also works with children with lupus.

Click for BOOKS dealing with childhood rheumatic diseases

This site provided by Thomas J. A. Lehman MD
Chief, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
The Hospital for Special Surgery
535 E 70 St,
New York, NY 10021
212-606-1151, fax 212-606-1938, e-mail

  Systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, Scleroderma, progressive systemic sclerosis, pss, jra, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, childhood arthritis, growing pains, rheumatism, children with pain, bone pain, pediatric specialists, my child hurts, chronic disease, chronic childhood illness, the best care, Kawasaki disease, mixed connective tissue disease, SLE, JCA, JIA, juvenile chronic arthritis,  sports injuries, frequent sports injuries, cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate, diclofenac, voltaren, Relafen, children’s health care, educational materials, pediatric resources, public health education, health education, school nurse materials, help for school nurses.


Revised 11 2005