Joint That Does Not Move
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Reviewed By:

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc (Family Medicine, Primary Care)

Dr. Taylor is a Japanese-African American physician who grew up and was educated in the United States but spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as a college student, working professional and now father of three. After graduating from Brown, he worked in finance first before attending medical school at Penn. He then completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control before going on to specialize in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was also a chief resident. After a faculty position at Stanford, he moved with his family to Japan where he continues to see families on a military base outside of Tokyo, teach Japanese residents and serve remotely as a medical director for Roots Community Health Center. He also enjoys editing and writing podcast summaries for Hippo Education.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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  • Joints are difficult to move

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About the Symptom

It the sensation of difficulty moving a joint or the apparent loss of range of motion of a joint. Joint stiffness may sometimes follow a pattern: worse in the morning that gets better with movement or worse at the end of a the day after lots of movement. It is often accompanied by pain and swelling.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Involuntary movements

  • Numbness / sensory disorder

  • Numbness of lower limbs

  • Recent weight loss

  • Muscle weakness in the limbs

  • History of cerebrovascular disorder

  • Muscle pain (myalgia)

Possible Causes

Generally, Joint that does not move can be related to:

  • Shoulder Periarthritis

    Also known as "frozen shoulder". This condition is caused by inflammation of the ligaments and capsule around the shoulder joint. As the disease progresses, patients find it increasingly difficult to move the shoulder joint. Risk factors include diabetes, thyroid conditions, age, and injury to the joint.

  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica

    Polymyalgia rheumatica is a chronic, inflammatory disorder of unknown cause. It typically affects women more than men over the age of 50. Classic symptoms include pain in the neck, shoulders, hips, upper arms and thighs.

  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

    Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a type of arthritis that occurs in children under 16 years old. It's a chronic condition characterized by joint pain and swelling that can last for months or years. It affects one or more joints for at least 6 weeks. JIA occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues The cause of JIA is unknown.

  • Femoral Head Necrosis
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Spasticity
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Joint that does not move may be related to these serious diseases:

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do your joints feel stiff and hard to move?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Watson H, Lynggård Hansen A, Calusi G, Bartels LE. Musculoskeletal stiffness is common in healthy adults and increases with age. Musculoskeletal Care. 2021 Mar;19(1):3-8. doi: 10.1002/msc.1501. Epub 2020 Aug 18. PMID: 32812344.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32812344/

Reviewed By:

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc (Family Medicine, Primary Care)

Dr. Taylor is a Japanese-African American physician who grew up and was educated in the United States but spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as a college student, working professional and now father of three. After graduating from Brown, he worked in finance first before attending medical school at Penn. He then completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control before going on to specialize in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was also a chief resident. After a faculty position at Stanford, he moved with his family to Japan where he continues to see families on a military base outside of Tokyo, teach Japanese residents and serve remotely as a medical director for Roots Community Health Center. He also enjoys editing and writing podcast summaries for Hippo Education.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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