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:
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

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:
morning stiffness lasting hours
severe vision disturbances
difficulty falling asleep
recent onset neck pain
multiple swollen axillary nodes
brittle fingernails
metallic taste in mouth
frequent swollen inguinal nodes
severe stiff neck
sleeping less than necessary
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
irritated eyes
... 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
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis 95% Confirm
Rheumatoid Arthritis 23% Unlikely
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 5% 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:
Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
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