“Too young for arthritis”

Hi guys,

Just wanted to say hi and see how everyone deals with peoples reactions when you tell them you have arthritis. If I had a pound every time someone said “don’t be silly, you’re too young to have arthritis” I would be a millionaire.

So we found out I had a form of OA in my foot when I was around 10 and now that I’m 24 it is now on my feet, knees, hips, and fingers.

Most of the time I get by and I lead a pretty active life - gym 3 x a week and working in farming and hospitality. I do try and tell employers straight away that I have joint problems but the amount of times it’s brushed off or forgotten is shocking. I guess it’s something I don’t show to many people when I’m struggling, as if it’s something I feel embarrassed about.

But lately it’s got to the point where I’m relying on my boyfriend to help me around the house, mainly having to lift me off the sofa and bed which for someone who likes to be independent is hard to get use to.

I guess a good questions to ask too is has any one ever experienced doctors question your arthritis?

When I started to feel it in my knees and hips more I went to my GP who questioned my pain so much I felt like I was making it up. She reluctantly referred me to a hospital doctor who only asked about my knee pain despite the notes mentioning all the other joints that were effected. After a quick examination I was told that despite having OA in the knee that there was nothing they could do unless it stopped me from sleeping or stopped me from earning money. I wasn’t offered any help, no options of how to reduce my pain or anything.

99% or online articles are for older generation, or only recommended that you move more and loose weight. But what do you do when you’re in your 20s and live an active lifestyle?

You could say that I should get an office job - I’ve tried and it’s just not for me… also why should I stop doing the job I love?!

So how does everyone else deal with the arthritis is only for old people that so many people have?


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,485

    HI @eleri162

    Welcome to the online community.

    Here everyone understands that Arthritis can affect people of any age even babies no no-one will say 'You're too young to have Arthritis!'

    I agree with you that a lot of treatments and suggestions are aimed at people who are older and suggestions such as losing weight aren't relevant for everyone.

    In fact I struggled to find much for you too. We have information for youngsters and those still in education, but that's not you. You are working and have a partner so this was all I managed to find I hope it helps a little?

    Having said that it does sound a little to me as though maybe you are not getting much support from the medical profession to help manage your condition.

    Maybe it's time to ask to see a physiotherapist for help with walking aids or and Occupational therapist to make life easier for you at home?

    I hope you'll get some responses from younger people here, but this category can be quite quiet. Bear in mind though a lot of our members did start their own arthritis (whichever type they have) when they were much younger so might have useful tips for you.

    Reposting this to the Living with Arthritis category might get you more replies if you don't get many.

    My best wishes


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  • Dove23!
    Dove23! Member Posts: 6

    Hi @eleri162 ,

    I am not quite as young as you. I am in my mid 30s and I am really sorry that you are in pain 💔. From my experience, Yes people do make things worse by not validating your pain. Even my doctor was like you're too young and too skinny for OA! That hurts!!

    I have joined a joint-fitness class recently and it got more depressed due to people's comments that I look healthy, and young and that it was weird that I've signed up for this very class!! The truth is you get tired of explaining your condition to friends as well as strangers!!!!!

    I had to be on my own since orthopedics were like there's not much that we can do for you. they were like Come to us later when you can no longer walk! 😵‍💫

    I suggest that you push hard for a referral for good PT course that can help lessen your pain and get you moving more!

    Also, sadness has been increasing my pain so speak to your loved ones about it.

    As for your work place, I hope they'd understand your situation and help make things easier for you.

    Stay positive andkwish you feel better!