Pain and stiffness in joints is observed usually on being stationary for a long time, or on getting up or bending suddenly. This condition is commonly observed in older people, but, is not limited to that age group alone.
There can be exceptions, and rare cases of chronic joint pain can also be found in children and young adults. Causes of stiff joints can be severe and hence, you should not ignore this symptom.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis is a significant cause of stiff muscles and joints. Therefore, in 90% of the cases, these symptoms are related to rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease that prominently affects joints. Exact cause of RA is unknown; however, it is believed that certain genetic factors make a person more susceptible to this condition.
Osteoarthritis is another type of arthritis that occurs when joints degenerate or wear out. It is considered as a natural aging process; but, certain factors like heredity, muscle weakness, etc., are believed to cause it. Stiff joints in the morning is the classic symptom of osteoarthritis.
Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa or the fluid filled sacs located in joints of shoulders, knees or hips. Repetitive movement of a particular joint is the major cause of bursitis. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc., can also lead to bursitis. Stiffness, pain and swelling in joints are the typical symptoms.
Reiter's Syndrome or Reactive arthritis (ReA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder that usually follows an intestinal or genital or urinary tract infection. People suffering from Reiter's Syndrome also experience any one of these conditions: urethritis, cervicitis, prostatitis, cystitis, eye problems or skin sores. The condition is mostly observed in men.
Fibromyalgia, injury to the joints can also cause joint pain and stiffness. Apart from these, rigid joints during pregnancy is quite a common symptom observed by all pregnant women. Taking rest is the only effective treatment for it. In case, bleeding from joints is observed, you should look for emergency medical treatment.
The most effective home remedy for joint pain and stiffness is massage or applying heat. Secondly, you may consider taking over-the-counter painkillers. But, if the pain does not subside immediately even on following these quick remedies, you need to consult the doctor to diagnose the underlying cause.
There is no permanent cure for rheumatoid arthritis; however, there are several medications and treatment methods that help in alleviating the symptoms. The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or advise the person to undertake therapy to reduce pain and stiffness. In worst cases, a total joint replacement surgery can be conducted.
Similar is the case with osteoarthritis. It worsens with age and there is no cure for it. But, medications can help reduce pain and stiffness. Bursitis can be treated by simple anti-inflammatory medications or even by applying ice or cold compress over the joint.
Reiter's syndrome is also treated with the help of medications and therapy. On the other hand, if other symptoms like fever, weight loss, etc., are observed long with joint pain, then the doctor will diagnose the underlying cause and prescribe related treatment. Taking rest is the best treatment for rigid joints.
In order to treat stiff and painful joints, you need to explain the condition properly to the doctor. Knowing exact details like the type, nature and severity of the pain can help in proper diagnosis. Take care!
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for medical consultation.