Monday, March 09, 2009

Health Tips for March 9

Health Tip: Coping With Juvenile Arthritis

Arthritis isn't just a disease of the elderly. Children may be affected by a disease called juvenile arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation offers these suggestions to help families cope with the condition:

  • Family members should openly discuss what each person is feeling, including concerns, anger and fears.
  • The child with juvenile arthritis should not be allowed to shirk responsibilities, as long as he or she is physically able to fulfill them.
  • Teach your child about the disease, including information about management and treatment, in an age-appropriate way.
  • Don't be overbearing or overprotective. Encourage independence and responsibility.
  • Spend time with each other -- as a family, and one-on-one with your child.

Health Tip: When Arthritis Affects the Hands

Arthritis in the hands can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. While the condition can be managed with proper medical care, first you must recognize its common warning signs.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers this list:

  • Dull or burning pain in the fingers and hands, especially after you've been holding tightly to an object for an extended period.
  • Swelling and warmth in and around the joints.
  • A feeling of being able to move the joints less easily.
  • A feeling that the joints in your hand are grinding together.
  • A feeling that your joints are loose, or not as stable as they once were.
  • Cysts, or small bumps that appear around the joints of the fingers.

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