Joint stiffness is a fairly common complaint, especially with the elderly population. In this article, we are going to dig a bit deeper into this matter and find out what are the most common causes and what are the best ways to deal with it.
The condition itself is characterized by decreased range in motion of the affected joints, which can be accompanied by localized pain and discomfort. Depending on the cause, the stiffness in the joint usually lasts 30-45 minutes.
What Causes It?
General cause of stiffness is inflammation within the joint itself, and the causes of the inflammation can vary. In most cases, it will be caused by some type of arthritis, such as osteo or rheumatoid arthritis. Other, less common causes are:
- Various bone diseases
- Localized trauma to the joint
- Overuse of the joint
- Longer periods of inactivity
Of course, joint stiffness can be easily identified and diagnosed since it will cause just that – stiffness in the affected joints, but it can also be manifested by pain, increased temperature within the joint (the joint is warm when you touch it), redness, swelling and limited range of motion.
In The Morning
It`s important to note that not all cases of joint stiffness will have the same causes. As we grow older, we come across this condition more and more often and we start to wonder what is wrong with our body and if there was something we could do to prevent it.
There are, actually, few preventative measures you could have taken to avoid it, or at least reduce its intensity. Those include:
- Weight regulation – increased weight puts additional pressure on our joints
- Exercise – regular exercise will ensure that joints are “well lubricated” and healthier
- Proper nutrition
And the most common cause of morning stiffness is, of course, arthritis. As I`ve stated before, there are different types of arthritis that could affect your joints and if you have osteoarthritis, your joints may remain stiff up to 30 minutes while rheumatoid arthritis induced stiffness will last even up to 45 minutes.
The Effects Of Alcohol
I`ve already covered the problem of alcohol and back pain, you can read about it in this article – Connection Between Alcohol And Back Pain.
In addition to back pain, alcohol can also cause joint stiffness since it will lead to dehydration of the body. The delicate structures of our body, including muscles, ligaments and joints require water to be able to function properly.
When the body is dehydrated, the ligaments will lose their elasticity, making movement difficult and even painful.
Even though I am a big advocate of natural remedies, in this case, I have to say that medication is the best way to go. Proper medication will be of great help if the cause of joint stiffness is arthritis. With correct, early diagnosis in combination with proper medication, you will be able to limit bone and joint damage and maintain a high level of joint flexibility.
Of course, there is no reason why you shouldn`t combine the use of medication with natural remedies:
- Grapes – grape juice is packed full with antioxidants which will help reduce the swelling and inflammation within the affected joints
- Licorice – it will have similar effect the grape juice has and help with inflammation
- Stinging nettle – Stinging nettle will supply you with boron, calcium, magnesium and silicon which will ease the pain and help you build stronger bones
- Physical Activity – physical activity is absolutely vital if you want a healthy body, joints and healthy muscles. It doesn`t have to be intense, low-impact exercises, such as walking, will be of great help so be sure to make use of them. If you are unsure of where to start, you can read this article – Low-Impact Exercises For Seniors
After all said and done, joint stiffness isn`t all that bad. If you are smart you can use it to your advantage to help you identify arthritis in its early stage. By doing so, you can limit its damage to the joint and your overall mobility!