Splinting joints with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) should avoid keeping their joints bent for long periods of time, such as when sleeping. These positions can encourage stiffening of the joints.

Wearing a resting splint at night will help keep the joints straight (especially the wrist and hand, knee and ankle) and may help prevent pain at night. This may decrease morning stiffness as well as help prevent contractures.

Working splints (such as a wrist splint to keep the wrist extended) can help support a joint and relieve pain when writing or doing other hand tasks.

Regular range-of-motion exercises are very important when splints are used to prevent loss of movement and flexibility.

Last Updated: June 25, 2008

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology

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