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Why Joints Become Stiff
May 13, 2019

Joint stiffness can occur in any joint and can make daily tasks seem impossible. Pain in the joints can also affect one’s mobility which can hinder one’s quality of life. If you have serious joint pain symptoms, seek treatment with a physician right away to take back control over your life.

Range of motion may become limited with joint stiffness as does pain after sitting for long periods of time. Also, with joint stiffness comes inflammation, which can make for bearing weight on the joints difficult.

Why Does Joint Stiffness Occur?

There are many reasons for joint stiffness, including the following:

  • Inflammation is associated with joint stiffness and conditions like rheumatoid arthritis share those symptoms as inflammation attack the small joints in the hands and feet causing pain.
  • Joints are cushioned with cartilage, but as one ages this cartilage breaks down and the joints are more susceptible to stiffness as they lose their protective cushion and this is called osteoarthritis. The knees, hips and back are often the most affected.
  • The big toe is often the first to experience symptoms. Typically with gout, the big toe is often the first joint subjected to this type of arthritis but it can actually affect any joint.
  • An autoimmune condition called lupus affects the knee, wrist and finger joints most commonly and can be mild in some cases to severe in others.
  • Bursitis occurs when bursae, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning become inflamed. It is most common in the elbow, shoulder, and hip, although it can affect any joint.
  • A condition called polymyalgia rheumatica affects those over the age of 50 and causes pain in the shoulders, neck, hips, wrists and fingers.
  • Fibromyalgia is a widespread pain across a large span of muscle groups that can lead to joint stiffness as well.
  • Those who suffer from hypothyroidism have symptoms of fatigue, weight gain and joint stiness.
  • Bone cancer is also a cause of joint stiffness and causes pain along the arms and legs.


Joint pain is treated by creating a treatment plan that solves the underlying issue for the joint pain and to provide relief for the symptoms. Using heat or ice for a period of 15-20 minutes per day can help minimize the swelling which will ultimately reduce the pain.

Physicians will also advise in taking over the counter medication like anti-inflammatories to help reduce swelling and stiffness, especially those who suffer from arthritis. In some cases, steroids may be suggested as a course of treatment to help reduce the pain.

Weight loss may also be recommended as excess weight on the joints can cause unnecessary strains and damage to the joints. If chronic pain and joint stiffness has occurred for a long period of time, physical therapy may be prescribed to help relieve the symptoms and to help increase mobility.

Our team of Atlanta chiropractors specialize in treating those with chronic joint stiffness and can provide treatments in many different forms. We care about your pain and strive to help you create a pain free lifestyle and get you back to doing all the things you love or even the ability to explore new things! Call us today at (404) 889-8828 for a consultation!