Joint stiffness is the most common problem in elderly people. Often, this is noticed after being stationary for a long duration, such as sleeping or sitting. Initially, the pain is mild when compared to the advanced stage. Stiff joint causes may be severe and thus, people are advised not to ignore the symptoms.
Causes of Stiff Joints:
Joint stiffness is rarely observed in children and infants. This is a symptom of the health conditions which are often observed in adults. Following are some common causes of joint stiffness and pain.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a type of arthritis which develops when the joints wear out or degenerate. This is a natural aging process yet muscle weakness, heredity, etc are also some of the causes of this condition. Joint stiffness is a classical symptom of this disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is the most significant cause of stiff muscles and joints. This is a classical symptom associated with rheumatoid arthritis in nearly 90 percent of cases. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which prominently afflicts the joints. The primary cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still not known, however, it is considered that some genetic factors also lead to this condition.
- Reiter’s Syndrome: This is also called Reactive arthritis. It is an inflammatory and autoimmune disorder which generally follows a urinary tract or a genital or an intestinal infection. People with reactive arthritis also experience one of the following disorders â€“ skin sores, eye problems, cystitis, prostatitis, cervicitis or urethritis. Often, this condition afflicts men.
- Bursitis: This is an inflammation of the fluid filled sacs which are located in the joints or of the bursa. Often, this condition is noticed in the hips or shoulders. Strangely, bursitis causes are often simple and ordinary such as because of repetitive movement of a specific joint. Hence, it is noticed that this condition may be one of the causes of stiff joints after sitting.
Besides, joint stiffness during pregnancy is the most common symptom experienced by most pregnant women. The only effective treatment is taking rest. Even, joint injury can also lead to joint stiffness and pain.
Exercises for Stiff Joints
Many people with stiff joints are loathe to do exercises which in turn worsens the stiffness and pain. Read on to learn a few exercises which can improve the functioning of stiff joints. An appropriate exercise plan can improve your stiff joints and your ability to do daily tasks without hindrance or pain.
Yoga poses can loosen up stiff joints and improve flexibility and range of motion. Try to perform a few basic poses that exercise your joints and give you relief. But, practice yoga under a trained instructor. And, get permission from your doctor before you try yoga to relieve stiff joints.
Basic Movement Exercises
You can also do other exercises to improve your range of motion. Raise arms over the head and roll the shoulders back to front.
Strengthening exercises enable your muscles to give support to the affected joints. Do pull-ups or use a leg press machine to improve strength. You should do these exercises on alternate days. But, stop immediately if the joints feel painful or swollen.
Aerobics and other cardio exercises boost your energy and enable you to try other types of exercises that can cure your stiff joints. Be careful and ensure you do not exert too much pressure on your stiff, painful joints while doing cardio workouts. The best cardio exercises are swimming and bicycling.
Besides yoga, you can also try tai chi to loosen up your stiff joints. For the elderly, tai chi can improve balance and you can move your joints without damaging them or increasing the stiffness.