Joint is the meeting point of two bones and stiffness is associated with one or more joint disorders. A stiffness in joint has reduced or restricted mobility. Joint is the meeting point of two bones and stiffness of joint is associated with one or more joint disorders. A stiff joint has reduced or restricted mobility. It has, in other words, limited range of motion. You might not be able to move the stiff joint freely or move it at all. Joint stiffness may affect one or multiple joints of your body. You may experience joint stiffness through out a day or at certain points of the day or after some specific activities. It may often come along with symptoms like joint soreness, pain, swelling, burning sensation, numbness and bruising of a joint. The patient with stiff joint or joints may also suffer from fatigue, body ache, headache, muscle twitching, muscle spasms, fever and chills.
Some of the causes of joint stiffness are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Reiter’s syndrome, stress fractures, sprains, strains, dislocated bones, overuse, repetitive motion disorder, septic, bursitis, tendonitis, Osteomyelitis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Leukemia, side-effects of medicines, infectious diseases like mumps, measles, hepatitis, influenza, mononucleosis etc. Stiff joints should not be left untreated, for they might lead to serious complications like disability, joint deformity and even amputation.
Ways to relieve joint stiffness:
- Apply hot moist towel on the stiff joint and keep for 20 minutes at a time. You can also use moist heating pad for the purpose. The moist heat therapy improves blood circulation at a joint and reduces stiffness.
- Soaking in a tub of warm water also relieves joint stiffness.
- You can take some over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin, naproxen, acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc to get relief from stiffness.
- Practice range of motion exercises (passive, active and self range of motion exercises) daily to loosen out the stiff joints.
- You can also perform simple stretching yogic exercises coupled with breathing exercises. These would relieve the tension in the muscles and tissues surrounding a joint, thereby reducing stiffness.
- Consume food rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, Selenium, Vitamin C and D and curb the intake of foods high in trans fat and saturated fat or refined carbohydrates.
- Include the spices turmeric or ginger amply in your diet.
- Use MSM (a stable sulfur type meant to be absorbed in to the skin or body) to treat joint stiffness effectively. You can use MSM lotions, MSM powders or MSM capsules.
- Lose weight to reduce the pressure on joints.
- Massage with herbal oils like Rumatone Gold oil, Rumoxil oil, eucalyptus or wintergreen to relieve joint stiffness.
- Intake of herbal pills like Rumatone Gold capsule, Rumoxil capsules or Alfalfa capsules can alleviate joint stiffness.