Why Am I So Stiff After Sitting For A While

Have you just stood up after a little time sitting? You may feel some aches in your joints and stiffness in certain areas of your body.

You may be worried if this keeps happening but, more often than not, there is no need to panic. If you are dealing with this painful problem, it’s time to find out what could be causing it.

We have all sat up after some time, whether it’s been working at a computer or watching the television, and felt a lot stiffer than when we first sat down. It doesn’t matter your age or fitness level. This can happen to all of us!

If you are always stiff after sitting for a while, you may have one of a few problems. Typically, there are five main causes for stiffness in your joints after sitting and most are nothing to worry about.

To help you find out what could be causing this, let’s take a look at the main causes so you can stand up with ease and flexibility next time.

Why Am I So Stiff After Sitting For A While

Main causes of stiffness

Cause Number 1: Osteoarthritis

This is most common in the elderly or people aged over 60. This is probably why you have heard your grandparents complain of aches and pains, especially when getting up slowly from a chair.

This happens because the bone cartilage wears down over time, getting worse as you age. Don’t worry as this won’t just happen randomly one day. It usually takes a few years to see any real signs of osteoarthritis.

This cartilage erosion causes pain and stiffness. Most of the time, these effects are felt around the legs, knees, and sometimes toe joints.

Standing up after sitting for a while will cause some sort of pain in the legs if you suffer from osteoarthritis.

There are typically two signs to look out for. One is that the pain goes away within a few minutes of standing up and the other is how it affects your legs much more than the upper part of your body such as your back.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal you can do to combat this stiffness but you should try not to stand up too suddenly.

Then, move slowly for a few minutes after you stand up. You can also try Glucosamine supplements to help the aches but you should be careful what brand you buy.

Cause Number 2: Auto-immune Arthritis

This is mostly seen in women but this isn’t always the case. It can be genetic so if someone in your family suffers from this, it could be the cause of your stiffness.

Arthritis causes stiffness most of the time. If you have this auto-immune form, your joints will be swollen constantly making movements more difficult. 

Sitting stiffness is very common with autoimmune arthritis and some of the top causes behind this could be rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.

Two main signs of this form are if you feel stiff after just 10 or 15 minutes of sitting or if it takes longer than 10 minutes for the pain to subside.

You can try turmeric to treat these symptoms as it is a natural herb that works best on inflammations. It is recommended you try turmeric supplements to help.

Cause Number 3: Gout

Gout is mostly found in men and just like auto-immune arthritis, genetics is a huge risk factor.

Gout pain can be excruciating with sudden deep burning feelings in a particular area. This can become worse after sitting still for a long period.

The causes of gout are crystals of uric acid that are stored within the joints. These can cause severe pain and stiffness, especially in the toes.

This pain is usually so bad it can not be ignored and can appear during the night or when you wake up in the morning. The good news is that if you only suffer stiffness after sitting, there is a 99% chance you are not suffering from gout.

Medical treatment should be sought if you suffer from gout. Alternative remedies won’t do you any good for something this painful.

Cause Number 4: Lupus

This is another autoimmune condition that causes joint pain. A regular symptom of lupus is joint inflammation which is where stiffness occurs.

Lupus happens because your immune system attacks itself. This causes your whole body to suffer at some point, including your joints.

Many lupus sufferers experience stiffness and pain when they wake up after lying down all night. If a lupus patient sits down for a few hours, it can feel as if their legs are stuck and completely swollen when they get up.

Other symptoms include fatigue, rashes, and chronic joint pain. Stiffness isn’t the only symptom of lupus so if you only feel stiff, you probably don’t have lupus.

Medical treatment is best for lupus as it can be quite serious. You should contact your doctor if you believe you suffer from this painful condition.

Cause Number 5: Bursitis

This is most common in adults over 40 or athletes who have overworked their joints. Bursitis is the inflammation of bursae which are small sacks found near your joints.

They are filled with lubricating fluid that works on decreasing friction, rubbing, and irritation. If there is inflammation, there will be stiffness.

Fortunately, bursitis is pretty uncommon but it is one of the leading causes of joint inflammation. Instead of the joints being swollen, the bursae swell up instead. 

You can differentiate bursitis from arthritis as this stiffness only appears in one arm and your whole body is not affected. Therefore, if only your arm is stiff with some pain, it could be bursitis.

The best way to treat this is to rest. Inflammation should heal alone within a few days or weeks so a doctor isn’t necessary. 

In Summary

Feeling stiff after sitting for a while is not a pleasant feeling. As well as the reasons above, there could be no medical cause.

Many people feel this due to their posture so you should take notice of this when you are sitting down next. Your back should be well supported with your feet flat on the floor.

You should stand up and stretch every 10 minutes or so to reduce any stiffness too.

There is always a reason behind stiffness. As soon as you find out what this is, you can work towards a more comfortable experience in the future.