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.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose morning stiffness, we could:
|Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis||25%||Unlikely|
|Rheumatoid Arthritis||5%||Ruled out|
|Psoriatic Arthritis||2%||Ruled out|
|Ankylosing Spondylitis||1%||Ruled out|
|Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia||0%||Ruled out|
How long is it before your morning stiffness/pain improves? Select the answer that best describes your usual experience.
Possible responses:→ I don't have morning stiffness / don't know
→ My joints feel better within 30 minutes
→ My joints feel better within 45 minutes to 2 hours
→ It is several hours before my joints feel better
→ Variable - sometimes minutes, sometimes hours
Fibromyalgia patients often complain of generalized morning pain and stiffness that may not get better for hours.
Osteoarthritis patients' symptoms typically improve within 30 minutes but may be aggravated during the day with use of the affected joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients often complain of prolonged morning stiffness or pain which may last 45 minutes or longer.