Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Caregivers can help children learn self-care techniques that help limit the effects of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Techniques include:
- Getting regular exercise. Exercise is important because it promotes both muscle strength and joint flexibility. Swimming is an excellent choice because it places minimal stress on joints.
- Applying cold or heat. Stiffness affects many children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in the morning. Although some children respond well to cold packs, most children prefer a hot pack or a hot bath or shower.
- Eating well. Some children with arthritis have poor appetites. Others may gain excess weight due to medications or physical inactivity. A healthy diet can help maintain an appropriate body weight. Adequate calcium in the diet is important because children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are at risk of developing weak bones (osteoporosis) due to the disease, the use of corticosteroids, and decreased physical activity and weight bearing.
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