Treatment for Stiff Joints & Joint Pain – Atlanta Hand Specialist
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Stiff Joints

The joints are composed of tissue, ligaments, and cartilage between bones, which cushion and support our bodies as we move and bend.

Stiff joints are characterized by joints that have a reduction in mobility. People who experience this may have difficulty moving their joints or complete loss of motion. Stiffening joints are often a sign of pain or a symptom of an underlying condition.

What Causes Stiff Joints?

Usually certain activities and times of the day cause joint stiffness, but an underlying disease can also be the source. Arthritic, traumatic, or infectious conditions can cause stiff joints. Common diagnoses within these types of conditions include:

  • Gout
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Overuse injury
  • Lyme disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Measles

Symptoms of Stiff Joints

Although symptoms of stiff joints will vary greatly due to the broad list of causes, it is usually associated with loss of motion ranging from slight to severe. Most stiff joints accompany joint pain and swelling, redness, warmth, and tingling. Many people feel stiff joints in their hands and fingers, wrists, knees, elbows, jaw, and shoulders.

The duration of symptoms will also vary because some causes may be temporary while others are lifelong.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Stiff Joints

If you are experiencing stiff joints, it is important to take notes on your experience. See a physician at Atlanta Hand Specialist if pain is moderate to severe or lasts more than two weeks. In order to diagnose you, doctors may ask:

  • When did the symptoms begin?
  • Did they begin after performing a certain activity?
  • Which joints are stiff and where?
  • Do the symptoms occur during specific times of the day?

Based on your medical history, medications and the above questions, a doctor may be able to assess why you are experiencing stiff joints. Depending on what is causing the discomfort, a variety of treatments for stiff joints are available.

Physical therapy and exercise may help alleviate joint stiffness. Over-the-counter medications, ice packs, and moist heat (like hot showers or heated towels) can help with symptoms.

Serious underlying conditions may require long term treatment, lifestyle changes, prescription medications, or even surgery.

Contact Atlanta Hand Specialist

Usually stiff joints can be treated at home, but sometimes a serious illness or disease may need to be diagnosed. If you are experiencing stiff joints, it is important to receive an expert opinion to avoid future complications.

Atlanta Hand Specialist has six convenient locations around the Atlanta area. Contact our office at (770) 333-7888, or schedule an appointment online.

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