Hesperian Health Guides

Rest and Position

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HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 16: Juvenile Arthritis: Chronic Arthritis in Children > Rest and Position


Children with arthritis need a lot of rest. They tire easily, and should have a chance to rest often. Help the child to be in positions that keep the arms, wrists, hips, and legs as straight as possible.

child sits in chair with bent joints
child lies down with bent joints
In these positions, contractures develop more easily.
child lies up with pillows
no pillow or very flat pillow, especially if the neck is affected
child lies down with pillows
pillow between legs
In these positions, contractures are less likely to develop.

Although it may hurt more, it is better for the child to lie on her back or stomach, not on her side with her legs bent.

When pain is worst, alternate rest with legs straight and slightly bent.

Rest and sleep with the arms and legs as straight as possible. Use pillows only in a way that gently helps the joints straighten more. Let the legs slowly straighten under their own weight.

This page was updated:21 Nov 2019