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Stiff painful and swollen hands knees and ankles

Hi there i am a female 27yrs of age, i have problem with hands knees and ankles, they are stiff and swollen and painfull, i am also in agony when i wake up on the morning takes me atleast 5 minutes to get out of bed and can not straighten my legs straight away. doctors as usuall cannot find anything. please can you help me as i cannot even play with my 1 yr old daughter.
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic

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replied May 8th, 2011
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Gelling, or stiffening, of the joints after a period on inactivity is a hallmark of an inflammatory disorder. It is not uncommon for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to take around 30 to 45 minutes (the morning shower) before their stiffness is manageable.

This is a way to differentiate between inflammatory arthropathy and osteoarthropathy. In an inflammatory arthropathy the pain and stiffness is worse after inactivity and actually gets better with activity. In a degenerative process, the pain and stiffness is better after resting and gets worse with activity.

unfortunately, there are so many different inflammatory disorders and it is some times very difficult to determine which one, if any, is the cause of a patient's symptoms. Many times patients will present at an early stage, before certain markers show up, and it may take some time (even years) for the disorder to manifest enough signs/symptoms for a diagnosis to finally be made.

You should also know, that it is very common for the fingers to be a little swollen and stiff in the morning, especially in females. This is due to the redistribution of fluids in the body. This is not an abnormal process, but it can be present with a problematic disorder.

Don't give up. Make sure you track your symptoms and what modifies them (what do you do to make them better and what makes them worse). If possible, stay with the same health care provider, as they can often see the changes over time or trends. But, if you are very frustrated, there is nothing wrong with getting a second or third opinion, to get a new set of eyes on the problem.

Good luck.
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