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 should be
periodically reviewed by a physical therapist.
Studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis who see a rheumatologist regularly (several times a year) do better than people who visit erratically or not at all. The first step is finding one!
Your primary care doctor can refer you to a rheumatologist. If you like your doctor and have a good relationship, chances are good you'll get along with the rheumatologist your doctor recommends.
You may be able to see a rheumatologist directly without a referral; check your insurance plan...
Older children can do the exercises themselves but may still need
adult supervision. Children need support and encouragement from the family to
In addition to range-of-motion exercises,
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. Participation with other
children in activities like these helps improve a child's ability to function
and builds self-confidence. It may also decrease pain, disability, and the need
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 11, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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