Exercises To Reduce Juvenile Arthritis Pain

child swimming in a pool
Although society generally links arthritis with elderly patients, Juvenile Arthritis is just as prevalent in younger people. Juvenile Arthritis is a common condition that can occur in children who are under 16 years of age. Arthritis is usually identifiable when there is inflammation present in one or multiple joints throughout the body. Early detection and diagnosis of this condition are vital, as this can help promote the effectiveness of treatments moving forward. Juvenile Arthritis typically develops as a result of both a child’s genetic makeup and some sort of environmental factor, triggering the growth of this condition. When it comes to treating Juvenile Arthritis, MOTION offers a combination of both physical therapy and pediatric care. Our team of physical therapists can help to provide children with the proper exercises to reduce Juvenile Arthritis pain. Continue reading to learn more about the various types of Juvenile Arthritis, the exercises used to help reduce pain, and how MOTION can help!

The Different Types of Juvenile Arthritis

There are various types of Juvenile Arthritis that can affect children. The first and most common type is called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). This particular kind of Juvenile Arthritis includes six different subcategories known as:

  • oligoarthritis
  • polyarthritis
  • systemic
  • enthesitis-related
  • juvenile psoriatic arthritis
  • undifferentiated

The other kinds of Juvenile Arthritis consist of Juvenile Dermatomyositis, Juvenile Lupus, and Juvenile Scleroderma.

Juvenile Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease that causes weakness in your muscles and rashes on your knuckles and eyelids to appear. Juvenile Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints. Juvenile scleroderma causes a child’s skin to become hard and tight. Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) can include symptoms of all of these forms of arthritis, as well as high levels of anti-RNP. Lastly, Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that is an arthritis-related condition, resulting in stiffness. Ultimately, there are several types of arthritis that can put children in danger.

What are the Warning Signs of Juvenile Arthritis?

Unfortunately, Juvenile Arthritis affects many children throughout the U.S. and around the world every year. There are multiple signs and symptoms that are associated with Juvenile Arthritis. Some of the most common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Pain in joints and muscles
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Fevers
  • Rashes
  • Weight loss
  • Eye problems

What Treatment Options are Available?

If your child is experiencing any of these JA variations, MOTION has several locations that offer an abundance of treatment options.

Physical therapy is an excellent way to treat your child’s arthritis without taking a large number of medications. Physical therapy can provide your child with exercises that will help recover their range of motion and build up strength in the muscles surrounding the affected area. Although medications may help reduce inflammation, exercise can also be effective in restoring the function of the muscles. Instead of using medication, consider trying a more holistic approach. Physical therapy can be a healthy method for helping your child live a happier and more comfortable life.

Most children love to play, run and participate in sports. Juvenile arthritis can get in the way of that, which leaves them inactive and unhappy. Our programs will assist children affected by this condition, helping to decrease their pain and stiffness.

To evaluate the exercises needed to help your child, a physical therapist will build a baseline for joint motion, muscle strength, physical activity, coordination, and more. Typically, they ask your child what activities they like to participate in and determine what physical limitations they may encounter.

What Exercises Help Reduce Pain from Arthritis?

It is vital to the treatment process that parents ensure that their children have obtained a proper diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis. Afterward, MOTION can treat and teach your child various exercises that can help them feel more comfortable and capable of engaging in day-to-day activities.

There are four recommended forms of exercising that a child can use to help reduce the pain that he/she is feeling from their arthritis. These four methods include:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Cardiovascular fitness

Both ranges of motion exercises and stretching are helpful because they work to improve joint motion while also reducing stiffness. Usually, these range of motion exercises are gentle and can be performed safely. Strengthening exercises are done to help control and or advance someone’s muscle strength. Both isometric and isotonic exercises are highly effective in strengthening muscles.

  • In isometric exercises, the muscles tighten without moving the joint. This type of exercise is highly convenient because it can be completed when someone is in pain or experiencing swelling.
  • In isotonic exercises, the joints are being used to test the range of motion. It is important that the patient uses the correct form when conducting these types of exercises to ensure that the joints and muscles can grow and improve properly.

Consult with one of our physical or occupational therapists here at MOTION to better understand proper form and the benefits strength exercises have on Juvenile Arthritis conditions. Finally, cardiovascular fitness is an essential form of exercise not only to improve Juvenile Arthritis but also for general health. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, or dancing have been proven to help maintain weight, promote better sleep and mood, and control pain levels.

At MOTION, we are well aware of the pain and suffering that children living with Juvenile Arthritis have to endure. It is important that parents have their children properly examined and treated for this disease. For more information on scheduling an appointment, please contact us for assistance.