What Are Stiff Joints and How to Remedy Them
As people age, they often begin to experience stiffness in their joints. The years of using their joints, bones, and muscles finally catch with them, causing stiffness and discomfort. Most experience stiffness in the morning right after waking up. Joint stiffness can be caused by a number of factors. Read on to discover what causes stiff joints and what you can do to treat them.
What Are Stiff Joints?
Stiff joints are exactly what the name suggests. The discomfort can range in severity. Some cases may be mild and only impact mobility for a short amount of time after sitting or lying down for a long period. Others may be more serious, causing more discomfort and decreased mobility. Inflammation and pain can sometimes occur with stiffness, making walking or standing painful. Stiff joints can be caused or made worse by a number of factors. Not all joint stiffness is caused by aging. The stiffness can be a sign of an underlying condition. Conditions that cause joint stiffness include arthritis, gout, bursitis, lupus, bone cancer, and degenerative joint disease in Atlanta. Diet, weight, and other lifestyle factors can also have an impact on mobility and stiffness.
How to Relieve Joint Stiffness
Before you begin researching treatment options, you should see a doctor. The best way to find a suitable treatment is to determine what is causing the problem. Your doctor can diagnose the issue and recommend an appropriate way to ease stiffness and prevent other symptoms you may be experiencing. Here are a few remedies that your doctor may suggest to treat your discomfort:
- Over-the-counter medication can relieve mild symptoms of joint pain. NSAIDs like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen are often used to treat arthritis.
- Cold or hot compresses can be helpful. Cold will reduce swelling and heat will relax the muscles and joints.
- Steroids can aid in reducing swelling and inflammation that causes stiffness.
- Physical therapy and exercise help in improving mobility and maintaining a healthy weight, which can, in turn, reduce joint stiffness.
- Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical that occurs naturally in the fluid surrounding the joints. Taking glucosamine sulfate as a supplement can relieve pain and stiffness.
- Taking fish oil supplements can also reduce joint stiffness.
When to Visit the Doctor
Though you should always talk to your doctor when experiencing a health issue, there are times when it's more essential than others. If the stiffness appears suddenly or lasts for more than five to seven days straight, seek medical help. You should also see your doctor if you experience joint deformity, difficulty moving the joint, redness, severe pain, or rapid swelling with the joint stiffness. OrthoAtlanta orthopedic surgeons in the greater Atlanta area who are trained in total joint reconstruction and total joint replacement can evaluate and treat joint pain, joint stiffness, joint injury and deformity.