Stiffness Specialist

Stellar Pain and Spine Specialists

Pain Management located in Chicago, IL & River Forest, IL

Whether you slept with your neck in an awkward position, overdid it at the gym, or spent the afternoon gardening, everyone experiences stiffness at some time in their life. When stiffness becomes chronic or severe, it’s time to get help from the team at Stellar Pain and Spine Specialists, with locations in the Northside of Chicago and western suburbs, including Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Lake View East, Ukrainian Village, Budlong Woods, Norwood Park West, Bucktown, Andersonville, River Forest, and Oak Park, Illinois. The experienced physicians offer many treatment modalities that help you overcome stiffness and get rid of the pain. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature today.

Stiffness Q & A

What is stiffness?

Stiffness is a symptom that occurs when some part of your body doesn’t have the flexibility to move the way it should. This loss of movement most often affects your joints and muscles, as well as the tendons and ligaments that support movement and stabilize your joints.

Stiffness often goes hand-in-hand with other symptoms, such as:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Joint redness and tenderness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Extremely limited mobility

In severe cases of stiffness, you may not be able to use the affected body part.

What causes joint stiffness?

You can develop joint stiffness from inactivity and injuries affecting the muscles and tissues that support the joint. Joint stiffness is also a symptom of underlying conditions such as:


Over years of using your joints, the protective cartilage starts to break down. As more cartilage wears away, you end up with the joint pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the synovial tissues inside your joints. As a result, you develop inflammation along with stiffness and pain.


Small fluid-filled sacs called bursae cushion the structures in your joint. When they become inflamed, you have bursitis, a condition that causes stiffness, pain, and swelling.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects many systems throughout your body, including your joints. You can also develop lupus arthritis. Overall stiffness when you wake in the morning is one of the earliest signs of lupus arthritis.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition defined by symptoms such as widespread pain and extreme fatigue. The condition also causes painful muscle spasms and stiffness that’s worse after you stay in one position for a long time. 

What causes muscle stiffness?

Strains are one of the top causes of muscle stiffness. Many people also end up with stiffness after they increase the intensity or duration of their workout. Any type of physical activity, as well as inactivity, can lead to stiffness.

Muscle stiffness may signal an underlying movement disorder, such as Parkinson’s disease or spasticity. These conditions also cause other symptoms such as tremors and uncontrollable spasms.

How is stiffness treated?

When treating stiffness, the first step is diagnosing and treating any underlying conditions. Otherwise, the team at Stellar Pain and Spine Specialists focuses on relieving pain, improving your range of motion, and restoring functionality.

After evaluating your medical history and symptoms and finishing a physical exam, they develop a customized treatment plan that incorporates multiple treatment modalities.

If you have ongoing stiffness, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call Stellar Pain and Spine Specialists, or use the online booking feature today.