Causes of Morning Stiffness From Arthritis

  • Morning stiffness is a common complaint for people with arthritis. For some, it can be so severe that they may feel like they can hardly walk when they get up in the morning.

The stiffness that occurs upon waking is a persistent problem for many people with arthritis, even those on a regular treatment regimen.1

 It can affect those with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, and is due to a variety of factors.

This article explains the possible causes of morning stiffness in arthritis and what you can do to make your mornings less painful.

An older man with back pain
Peter Dazeley / Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images


Causes of Morning Stiffness

Morning stiffness can be caused by different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of arthritis. For example, if you have RA or another type of inflammatory arthritis, your morning stiffness will likely last more than an hour—or even several hours.2

Morning stiffness that goes away after half an hour or less is more likely to be osteoarthritis (OA) or another non-inflammatory musculoskeletal condition.2

Gel Phenomonon

A possible cause of morning stiffness is called the “gel phenomenon.”…

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Article submitted to MSRN by Pat France, MSRN Member and Senior!