juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) must do regular
range-of-motion exercises to prevent
contractures and to maintain joint range and
If your child is 4 years old or younger, an adult will need to move
the child's joints through the range-of-motion exercises. This is called
passive range of motion. The adult will gently move the joints from a bent
position to a straightened position several times. Range-of-motion exercises
may be painful during a flare of arthritis. So it is very important to be
gentle. Exercises should be done at least twice a day. And they should be
reviewed now and then by a physical therapist.
Older children can do the exercises themselves but may still need
adult supervision. Children need support and encouragement from the family to
encourage your child to participate in low-impact sports, such as
swimming, biking, or rowing. These aerobic exercises are good for the heart and
lungs, build strength, and keep joints flexible. Doing activities like these with other children helps improve a child's ability to function
and builds self-confidence. It may also reduce pain, disability, and the need
June 5, 2012
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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