Severity Of Morning Stiffness

What Causes Severe Morning Stiffness?

Severe morning stiffness can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' 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 severe 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 "severe morning stiffness" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Poor Musculoskeletal Health
  • Low Testosterone

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:
shoulder tightness
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
frequent difficulty falling asleep
short-term memory failure
hot flashes during & after period
an average-stress lifestyle
very angry/hostile disposition
frequent swollen inguinal nodes
multiple swollen axillary nodes
severe vision disturbances
herniated disc(s)
severely tight muscles
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of severe morning stiffness:
Cause Probability Status
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 90% Confirm
Low Testosterone 20% Unlikely
Poor Musculoskeletal Health 0% 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:
How severe is your morning stiffness in terms of pain and inability to move?
Possible responses:
→ I don't have morning stiffness / don't know
→ It's no problem - slight discomfort without pain
→ Mild stiffness - not too difficult to get moving
→ Moderate stiffness - it takes effort to get moving
→ Severe stiffness - I feel like I really can't move
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate morning stiffness without pain, mild morning stiffness, moderate morning stiffness or severe morning stiffness, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Poor Musculoskeletal Health

Severe morning stiffness can be caused by a variety of factors such as sleeping in a bad position or in a cold/damp environment.  Chronic morning stiffness is often caused by arthritis, which is a condition of poor musculoskeletal health.

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