Causes of Joint Stiffness and What Makes it Worse

There are several causes of joint stiffness in adults and seniors, though these can vary from temporary to chronic issues. It can also affect only specific parts of your body or can be a widespread issue that affects multiple areas at once. Treatment options include physical therapy, using a hot or cold pack, exercise. Which to use should be determined by a discussion with your doctor or therapist.

Even with treatment, you may notice that at times your joint pain is worse than usual. Discovering why this is happening can help you understand this pain and possibly reduce it in the future. The following information on the causes of joint stiffness can help you with this.

Electro stimulation on knees as a part of physical therapy used to overcome the causes of joint stiffness

What Causes Joint Stiffness

Several medical issues can cause stiffness in your joints. Arthritis, like Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis, can both cause stiffness. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints, while RA is an autoimmune disorder. Though they affect the body differently, joint stiffness is a common symptom of these issues.

Lupus, gout, fibromyalgia, bursitis, and bone cancer are also causes of joint stiffness in various areas of their body. Though these issues vary in their cause and duration, they do share joint stiffness as one of the possible symptoms.

Of course, there are other less severe causes for this issue that are more related to your lifestyle. These include obesity and diet, which are issues that you can alter on your own to help relieve this type of pain.  Age could be another factor since the human body starts to wear out after years of use.

Even the time of day can affect your joints. There is a common belief that joints are stiffer in the morning when you first wake up. This can be even more pronounced in those with arthritis or another medical diagnosis with stiffness as a symptom.

What can make joint pain worse?

Joint pain can be manageable on a regular day but there are times when it feels worse than usual. Unfortunately, some activities can make joint pain worse. For instance, your sleeping position can cause joint stiffness. This happens when you sleep in a position that misaligns the spine or puts the neck in an unnatural position.

Carrying extra weight is another issue that can make your joint issues even more uncomfortable. The heavier you are, the more pressure there is on your ankles, knees, and hips. The fat cells in your body can also release proteins that can lead to inflammation, which can contribute to joint pain.

Some foods may contribute to joint stiffness, such as dairy products or certain meats. This is because these foods could trigger conditions like gout or arthritis. The more of these food items you consume, the more pronounced the stiffness could be.

Though exercise can help relieve stiffness, overworking your joints can increase your pain and cause joint stiffness. This can include sporting activities, walking long distances, or even repetitive tasks at work. A physical therapist can help you learn the proper techniques to strengthen your joints and relieve the pain.