Children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) should avoid keeping their joints bent for long periods of time, such as when sleeping. These positions can encourage stiffening of the joints.
Wearing a resting splint at night will help keep the joints straight (especially the wrist and hand, knee and ankle) and may help prevent pain at night. This may decrease morning stiffness as well as help prevent contractures.
Working splints (such as a wrist splint to keep the wrist extended) can help support a joint and relieve pain when writing or doing other hand tasks.
When splints are used, regular range-of-motion exercises are very important to prevent loss of movement and flexibility.
By Healthwise Staff Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics Last Revised June 5, 2012