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Juvenile Arthritis; Where Does Exercise Fit In?

When we think arthritis, we don’t immediate correlate this with younger people. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that affects around 1 in 1000 children. Children who suffer with arthritis will often experience pain and/or difficulties with movement. This can result in reduce quality of life, reduce physical activity participation, difficulties with daily activities and a reduce social interaction. So how can exercise physiology help?

A saying we like to use is motion is lotion and rest is rust.

This means that moving a joint or body part will help to lubricate the joint with its fluid and make it easier to move. Think of your joints like a front gate if you keep the gate close it rusts and becomes harder and harder to move, the longer you leave it the more difficult it is but if you use the front gate all the time its easy to open. Exercise helps to create these movements in a joint and helps you to move the joint in all its ranges. Keeping the joint as mobile as possible will help to reduce pain felt in this joint.

There is a type of exercise for everyone!

Tailoring exercises to the person and their goals is what we do! We can work on improving their function so they can improve or maintain independence with daily tasks. Increase their function so school tasks can be easier. Improving or maintaining their strength so they can continue to do what they do. It may encourage some more participation in physical activity or exercise or even sports! This will help improve self-confidence and social interaction.

Helping these young people understand what exercise they can do without flaring up or causing too much pain. Educating them on using exercises to help manage their condition and improve their function or achieving their goals. This is where exercise physiology can assist them! If you would like to book an appointment or find out further information contact our paediatric specialist Eden MacNeill on 4016 4446 or at admin@hunterrehab.com.au or BOOK NOW!

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