Children with arthritis should stay active and continue to go to school and be involved in activities at home, yet they often experience aching or swollen joints. Doing activities in ways that put less stress on your joints can decrease your pain and discomfort while helping you to maintain your activity level.

Putting too much stress on your joints can increase:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Joint damage

All of these factors can make it difficult for you to complete daily tasks.

Follow These Guidelines When You Are Doing Activities:

  • Use your joints carefully when you notice that they are warm and swollen. (Warm and swollen joints can be more easily damaged.)
  • Try to take a break and stretch every 30 minutes. Holding the same position for a long period of time places additional stress on your joints.
  • Pay attention to your body. If you feel pain, you might be doing too much and might be harming your joints. If it hurts — stop! If a joint hurts for more than an hour after you’ve stopped an activity, change how you do the exercise next time.
  • Keep yourself at a healthy weight. Too much weight puts more stress on your hips, knees, back and feet.
  • Reduce the impact of activities on your smaller joints by using your stronger joints and muscles. For example, when carrying items, keep them close to your body so you use your shoulder joints.
  • Let yourself rest between activities, and alternate between heavy and light tasks.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.