Stiff Joint and Limited Range of Motion: Possible Reasons and Treatments

//Stiff Joint and Limited Range of Motion: Possible Reasons and Treatments

Stiff Joint and Limited Range of Motion: Possible Reasons and Treatments

By |2019-07-15T13:32:39+00:00July 17th, 2019|Blog|

Have you ever had those moments when you get up after lying down in the same position for too long and experience a certain amount of stiffness in your joints? Or maybe you’ve been sitting down for too long and then walking right after becomes a bit of a challenge because of knee pain?

Well, these are cases when the lack of movement in the joints for an extended period of time causes them to become stiff and results in a weird pain or limited range of motion (ROM).

Those are not, however, reasons to be mistaken for actual joint stiffness and pain. Joint stiffness like that is usually mild and only impacts you for a brief period of time. However, there are more severe cases of joint stiffness that can possibly impact your mobility permanently.

Possible Reasons

You can experience joint stiffness and limited ROM due to an injury or an extreme workout. If you’ve injured your joint or the area around it, it might cause inflammation. This inflammation results in a lack of motion and pain in the joints. The same can be observed if you endure an intense workout, resulting in the swelling of muscles around your joints.

Arthritis is the most common cause of joint stiffness and limited ROM. Other conditions such as infections to the cartilage of the joints and weakness in the bones or tissue surrounding the joints can lead to people suffering from a lack of motion and pain in joints.

Brain, nerve and muscular disorders are also possible causes of joint stiffness and reduced range of motion. Conditions such as cerebral palsy can cause the patient to suffer from limited ROM and discomfort in joints.


The best way to treat your stiffness and limited ROM is to figure out what might be causing it in the first place. If the pain subsides in 15–20 minutes after its onset then it’s probably not very serious. However, if this is recurrent, then it might be a sign of weakness and you should consult a musculoskeletal physician to figure out the root of the problem before applying any kind of treatment.

Exercise is the best way to keep your joints healthy and active, even while experiencing stiffness and lack of motion; you can perform mild exercises to ensure that you at least keep the joints in motion to prevent further deterioration.

Applying a cold or hot compress is a good way to soothe your joint stiffness and pain. A hot compress works well for improving blood flow and helps relax the muscles, while a cold compress can help to reduce inflammation and reduce swelling in the joints.

Have you been suffering from joint stiffness, leading to a limited range of motion? Our renowned professional doctors and physical therapists at SEMI offer an array of options ranging from podiatry services to shockwave therapy.

We ensure that you get the best treatments possible for all your sports-related injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Contact us now to visit our clinic in the greater Toronto area.

About: Dr. Douglas Stoddard is a sports medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI). After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sports Medicine. He is also a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine and has his focussed practice designation in Sport Medicine from the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Stoddard is a consultant to the Canadian Military and has consulted with well over 30,000 unique patients in his career. Dr. Stoddard is constantly searching for new and promising therapies to help SEMI patients, and is responsible for developing the RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy Program. He is the proud father of two boys, is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.

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