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Morning stiffness

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How often have you felt that your muscles and joints have stiffened as you get up from the bed and then gradually it reduces by the end of the day...Certainly not often, because morning stiffness is something different from the usual pain that we all have experienced at some point or other. We explain you the details below:

Symptoms associated with morning stiffness

The intensity of pain in the muscles and joints will vary and depend on the type and severity of the autoimmune disorder. The affected part of your body would swell, become sore and tender. Sometimes the stiffness could be numbing and induce great deal of weakness in your body.

From the symptom you can make out that joint stiffness will be at its peak during the morning hours which might restrict movement of that specific body part. If it’s fibromyalgia, then stiffness will be experienced in entire body along with headache.

What causes morning stiffness?

Morning stiffness is hallmark symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and lupus. If stiffness is experienced all over your body then it could be fibromyalgia pain.

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Apart from the aforementioned medical conditions, you can experience stiffness due to joint sprain or muscle pull in that particular part of your body like elbow, ankle, back, neck, etc. If your uric acid levels spike up or you have gout, then early morning stiffness is most likely to occur.

When to see a doctor?

You shouldn’t neglect any kind of unusual pain in your body. See a doctor if the pain persists despite trying home remedies.

Diagnosis of morning stiffness 

Your doctor will evaluate the symptoms associated with your joints and examine the pain manually by performing certain kinds of movements with your body parts. He/she will ask you questions like “since when are you sensing pain”, “when does it initiate and how long does it last”, “if anyone in your family has experienced the same”, etc.

X ray, ultrasonography and CT scan would be recommended. Furthermore, you have to undergo some specific blood tests which will help to confirm the type of disease you are suffering from.

Treatment and management of morning stiffness

The treatment is totally dependent on the reason behind the pain and accordingly medicines would be prescribed. The doses further depend on the severity of the inflammation.

All in all, there’s no permanent cure for arthritis stiffness, the medicines can also slowdown progression of the disease. In case of gout, the treatment would be to manage uric acid levels with medicines and modification in diet.

Above all the best treatment for combating morning stiffness is physiotherapy exercise.

Managing morning stiffness

Your physiotherapist would certainly show you the movement techniques for your joints and hands to reduce the pain. You need practise them every day at home.

  • Get into a range of motion exercises before stepping out of the bed. Stretch your hands, legs, muscles and different parts of your body to reduce the stiffness
  • Take shower in warm water in the morning itself. Soak yourself in the bathtub for sometime or just pour warm water over self to make your joints flexible
  • Soak your leg, arms, wrist, etc. in warm water mixed with some salt, every day for 30 minutes preferably in morning hours to get relief early
  • Apart from all these, go for walking or try water walking or perform therapeutic yoga to overcome morning stiffness permanently

Written by: healthplus24.com

Date last updated: January 28, 2016