Even though arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the U.S., medical communities still do not completely understand all aspects of the disease. One in every three Americans deals with an arthritic condition. The diverse ailment affects men and women, adults as well as children. Although there are more than 100 types of arthritis, each has similar symptoms, including pain and inflammation of the joints. Eventually, these symptoms can make everyday activities difficult.
Joint stiffness is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. The individual may still have a full range of motion, but movement requires more effort. The stiffness is worse after long periods of inactivity, such as sitting or resting, but it improves with increased activity. If the stiffness occurs mainly in the morning, it is likely a type of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. If the stiffness only lasts for 15 minutes or less, there is probably no joint inflammation, and it is not an inflammatory form of arthritis.
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