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Learn about your joint stiffness, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your joint stiffness from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Joint Stiffness May Also be Known as:
Joint tightness
Restricted range of motion
Stiffness all over
Trouble moving a joint

Top 5 Joint Stiffness Causes

  1. 1.Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. RA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it is caused by the immune system incorrectly attacking the joints when it shouldn't.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a specialist. RA is a complex disease, which can require prescription medication to help slow down the damage to your joints, as well as pain killers such as ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Anaprox and Naprosyn). Exercise, especially swimming, can also help with pain and stiffness.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, muscle aches, joint pain, daytime sleepiness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Ankle Arthritis

    Arthritis of the ankle is a degenerative joint disorder occurring in the ankle. It presents with joint pain and stiffness that is typically worse with activity.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with over-the-counter drugs like capsaicin, methylsalicylate cream or topical NSAIDs. you may want to see your primary care physician if the pain persists or worsens.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    swollen ankle, joint stiffness, swollen foot, pain in one ankle, ankle stiffness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  3. 3.Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

    Nerve damage in the limbs can be caused by diabetes, toxic substances, immune system issues and low vitamin levels. However, in about one of every four cases no cause can be found and then the condition is called 'idiopathic'. Symptoms of nerve damage can be (burning) pain sensations, numbness, tingling and weakness in hands, feet or lower legs.

    You should visit your physician to discuss your symptoms. A referral to a neurologist might be needed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    muscle aches, distal numbness, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Psoriatic Arthritis

    Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. Some people who have psoriasis also get a form of arthritis (inflammation and swelling of joints) called psoriatic arthritis.

    You should visit your primary care physician to manage this disease as there are many treatment options. A treatment plan will often consist of therapy (physical, occupational, massage), patient education, exercise and rest, devices to protect joints, medicine and/or surgery.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    joint pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, upper back pain, joint stiffness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Multiple Sclerosis (Ms)

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is involved in carrying nerve signals so this damage causes interruptions in nerve signaling.

    You should visit your primary care physician as soon as possible to further discuss your symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    severe fatigue, constipation, numbness, arm weakness, decreased sex drive
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Joint Stiffness

  • Q.How long has your shoulder pain been going on?
  • Q.How severe is your shoulder pain?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.How would you explain the cause of your shoulder pain?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our joint stiffness symptom checker.

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Joint Stiffness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced joint stiffness have also experienced:

    • 12% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 6% Fatigue
    • 4% Muscle Aches
  • People who have experienced joint stiffness were most often matched with:

    • 7% Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • 5% Ankle Arthritis
    • 4% Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

Check my joint stiffness symptoms

Try our joint stiffness symptom checker to diagnose your current condition

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Check my joint stiffness symptoms

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having joint stiffness symptoms

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