stiffness joints

What Causes Stiffening of Joints?

Stiffness of joints or joint stiffness is caused by various medical conditions and it can also be a side effect of certain medications. It is characterized by difficulty in moving or using a joint. It can affect any joint but is most commonly found in the elbows, wrists, fingers, neck, back, hips, and knees.

Common Causes of Joint Stiffness

  • Arthritis: The most common cause of joint stiffness is arthritis. It can be either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Injuries: An injury to a joint can also cause stiffness. Over-use of a joint through sports or other activities can result in stiffness.
  • Bone Tumors: Bone tumors can cause joint stiffness and swelling.
  • Infections: Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections can cause joint stiffness.
  • Gout: This is a type of arthritis caused by a high level of uric acid in the joints.

Treatment for Joint Stiffness

Treatment for joint stiffness typically includes medications, physical therapy, or surgery. The type of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the stiffness.

Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help to increase the range of motion of stiff joints. Exercises and stretches can also help to reduce pain and swelling.

Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the joint or remove the underlying cause of stiffness, such as a tumor.

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