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Joint Stiffness Impacting Plans?

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By Alyssa Burke, PTA

Joint stiffness is a common ailment that affects many people. It can affect any joint and can vary in severity and duration. It can make a simple task like getting up from a chair or walking a challenge and painful. You may only experience temporary stiffness first thing in the morning or it can bother you after being stationary for a long period of time. Here are some questions to consider if you have joint stiffness:

  • What is joint stiffness?
  • What causes joint stiffness?
  • Can I get rid of joint stiffness?
  • What is joint stiffness?

Joint stiffness is the loss of motion in a joint.  It can feel like moving the joint is painful or difficult. There are many reasons why our joints become stiff. Most commonly, it is as a result of an injury or disease that is affecting your joints such as arthritis.

What causes joint stiffness?

There are many reasons why your joints may be stiff. Some common factors include lifestyle, age, injuries, and diseases. Many people experience stiffness first thing in the morning and it may only last for a short period of time. Others notice joint stiffness after being immobile or in the same position for a long period of time. Pain and inflammation caused by disease may accompany joint stiffness making it difficult to move your joint through its full range of motion. Arthritis is a common culprit of joint stiffness. The deterioration of cartilage and space within the joint can make motion in the joint painful.

Can I get rid of joint stiffness?

It is possible to decrease joint stiffness and help you get back to your desired activities. Physical therapy is a great way to decrease and prevent joint stiffness.  With the help of PT, you will learn stretches to help regain flexibility of the muscles surrounding your joints. You will also learn exercises to help you increase your range of motion and increase your strength and endurance. With PT, you also get the benefit of manual therapy. This technique often includes joint mobilizations and soft tissue work to help get your joints moving and loosen up the surrounding tissues. Most importantly, you will be educated on how to keep your joints moving and learn strategies to prevent joint stiffness in the future.

CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can address your joint stiffness. 

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