Rheumatoid Arthritis Morning Stiffness

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Do you get the Rheumatoid Arthritis morning stiffness question?

cookie doughDoes your rheumatologist ask you the morning stiffness question at every visit? Many doctors use this as a measure of disease activity. They ask, “How long does your morning stiffness last?”

My first RA doctor did ask me about morning stiffness at every single visit. I had no idea why I was being asked. Of course there was a long list of important questions that RA doctor never asked, such as whether I experienced RA fevers.

Until recently, the American College of Rheumatology considered the morning stiffness question so important that it was used as part of the diagnostic process. The newest RA diagnosis guidelines do not give morning stiffness a central role. There is a point system based upon joint symptoms and blood tests.

Is morning stiffness of Rheumatoid Arthritis like morning sickness?

Some Rheumatoid Arthritis patients have morning stiffness, but for others stiffness is not limited to mornings. For me, stiffness has always been the same all day: bad. After a couple of minutes in one position, it’s tough to move. Some days it’s like I’m in concrete; other days it’s more like cookie dough.

After I met a few more patients like me, I started to wonder, “Is Rheumatoid Arthritis morning stiffness like pregnancy morning sickness?” Some women are sick to their stomachs all day. Some are worse in the morning. Some don’t have any morning sickness – but they are still pregnant. The same RA doctor I mention in my last video, Doc Space Heater, wrote in my chart that I had no morning stiffness at all because I insisted that it lasted all day.

I’ve said before that my joints didn’t read the books. I did not rehearse at all for this job of professional patient. I’m just taking it one day at a time and the only thing I know about my RA is what I live with. Thanks for telling me about yours.

What about you? Do you only have morning stiffness in the morning? Is morning stiffness an accurate gauge of your disease activity?

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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