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Joint Stiffness and How to Cure it

Defining Joint Stiffness

At some point or another in life we experience joint stiffness. This is a situation in the body where we feel tightness in the parts of our body that bend like; the elbows, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, neck, lower back, and ankles.

Common Causes of Joint Stiffness:

  • muscular tightness
  • capsular/ligamentous tightness
  • muscle weakness causing poor joint alignment and tracking
  • loss of joint space with osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • structural damage from wear and tear or injury and the resulting inflammation

How Joint Stiffness Affects Us

Joint stiffness presents with the sensation of not being able to fully rotate, bend, or extend a joint in the body. Reaching and stretching may become limited with everyday activities. Reaching overhead for a
cup in a shelf may feel limited by shoulder stiffness, and bending forward to tie your shoes may feel limited by lower back stiffness.

All of this joint stiffness should be taken as a warning sign that the joint
needs attention! The inability to fully move a joint may be a result from inflammation caused by one (or more) of the reasons listed above. Stiffness in a joint is the first stop on the path to PAIN!

How Physical Therapy Can Help!

Joint stiffness and breakdown, especially as the body ages, is a definite reality, however it is a reality that can be addressed and treated with more than medication. A physical therapist here at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center can evaluate, diagnose, and create a treatment plan for your joint stiffness. The main treatments for joint stiffness include: skilled joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, education on what is happening with your body, specific strength and stability exercises, range of motion exercises, and correction of body mechanics to protect the joints affected…and really all of the joints in the body.

By: C. Ashley Border, DPT

Call our office TODAY at 703-450-4300 to schedule your evaluation and start living pain free again!

CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you.

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