Frequency Of Morning Stiffness

What Causes Frequent Morning Stiffness?

Frequent morning stiffness can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose frequent morning stiffness, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "frequent morning stiffness" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
constant fatigue
poor recovery from exertion
long term neck stiffness
irritated eyes
hot flashes between period
severe morning stiffness
long-term sleep deficit
normal ANA levels
highly elevated ANA levels
disturbed sleep
muscle pains in family members
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of frequent morning stiffness:
Cause Probability Status
Rheumatoid Arthritis 96% Confirm
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 16% Unlikely
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis 4% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate chronic morning stiffness, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Roughly how often do you experience morning stiffness?
Possible responses:
→ I don't have morning stiffness / don't know
→ Less than once a month / rarely
→ At least once a month
→ At least half the time / most of the time
→ Every morning
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate infrequent morning stiffness, regular morning stiffness, frequent morning stiffness or daily morning stiffness, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
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