Hesperian Health Guides

Homemade Aids for Stretching Joints

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HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 16: Juvenile Arthritis: Chronic Arthritis in Children > Homemade Aids for Stretching Joints


Because daily movement of joints is so important with arthritis, casts should be avoided whenever possible. So try to figure out other ways to correct contractures. Use whatever materials you can find, such as plastic, bamboo, and inner tubes.

These are a few of the examples of aids invented in a Mexican village for a girl with arthritis.

CAUTION! Make sure that the aids pull in a way that does not cause dislocations.


KNEE


METHOD 1:

a behind-the-knee aid

rivets
thick plastic, bamboo, or some other springy material
a behind-the-knee aid
plastic from an old bucket, bent or heatmolded to fit
A pad behind the knee helps prevent the leg from dislocating backward.

METHOD 2:

an above-the-knee aid
wood, plastic, or metal (take care that it does not press on the knee)
plastic or leather
The strongest pull should be near the knee to prevent dislocation.
rubber (inner tube) The pull can be adjusted.

Note: The behind-the-knee aid usually works the best. It is steadier and so causes less muscle tightening. Because it holds the leg more firmly, it is less likely to cause dislocations. It is also more comfortable and less awkward.


WRIST

Over-the-hand support
an over-the-hand aid
bamboo, thick plastic, or metal
strip of inner tube
leather or cloth
plastic from an old bucket
Under-the-hand support
an under-the-hand aid
The plastic should bend up into the palm of the hand.
heat-molded plastic (or metal from an old can)
bamboo or other springy material

For other aids and devices for straightening contractures, see Chapter 59.



This page was updated:19 Jan 2018