Trouble moving a body part, usually a joint.


Bathe in warm water. Place a warm compress on the affected area for 20 minutes. Gently stretch. Do range-of-motion exercises before bed.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a healthcare professional right away for:

  • Sudden stiffness that locks the joint in place.
  • Severe joint pain.

When to make a doctor's appointment

See a healthcare professional if stiffness happens:

  • More often over time and limits activities.
  • Along with pain while trying to move a joint.
  • While standing and walking after sitting for a while.
  • In the arms, leg or low back in the morning for over an hour.
  • Along with a fever, chills, weight loss or general sense of not feeling well.

Last Updated Sep 7, 2023

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