Joint stiffness is the sensation of difficulty moving a joint or the apparent loss of range of motion of a joint. Joint stiffness often accompanies joint pain and/or swelling. With age, stiff joints become a reality for many people. Not all stiff joints are the result of age. Many other conditions can cause stiff joints. These include arthritis, lupus, and bursitis, cancer, Infections, Lifestyle factors, including diet and weight, can also impact joint mobility.
Rheumatoid arthritis – Leading cause of joint pain
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common forms of arthritis. RA usually starts in 2nd & 3rd and Females are more prone. RA is also an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system attacks healthy parts of your body, such as the lining of your joints. This causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Over time, it can also cause joint deformity and bone erosion. RA has no cure, so its symptoms can’t be eliminated entirely. They can be managed through medication and other treatments. However, once the disease is advanced, little can be done to prevent disability. Counterpart of this in children is Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis causing Joint Pain
Another common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). OA is sometimes called degenerative arthritis. OA usually starts in the 5th decade but can start early as a result of old fracture infection etc as secondary OA. In OA, cartilage within the joint gradually thins and wears away. Osteophytes (bone overgrowth) may develop when the ends of the bone touch each other, and the joint can eventually become deformed.
OA can be due to the following aspects:
- Genetics – People with family members who have RA may be more likely to get it
- Hormones – Female hormones may play a role in the disease
- Viruses or bacteria – RA may be related to viruses or bacteria that you come in contact with during your life
OA can affect any joint in the body, but it most often affects the:
As OA progresses, it can begin to cause symptoms other than stiffness. These include:
- Cracking sounds when the joint is in motion