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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Is Morning Pain in Hips and Feet a Indication of Arthritis?

08/06/2008

Question:

After waking up in the morning I have diffficulty walking due to pain in my hips and both feet. Usually after approximately half an hour this pain does get better and allows me to continue with my daily duties, although I do have some discomfort when I bend or kneel. After sitting for a while the pain in my hips and feet returns. The time scale varies. I have been examined or investigated the possibility of arthritis. I know I will have to make an appointment with my physician but I would appreciate any help or advise. I am a 46 year old woman with 2 children aged 24 and 15.

Answer:

It is common to have the phenomenon known as morning stiffness associated with various arthritides. The way I typically ask about morning stiffness is as follows:

“Although you may be stiff all day, how long does is take to get as loose as you are going to get once you wake up and are moving around?”

Amongst the many signs and symptoms to screen for certain inflammatory arthritides, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, is morning stiffness that last for 60 minutes or longer.

You are describing pain as opposed to stiffness, but consider if these are one and the same. While your symptom does not meet the threshold of 60 minutes, it certainly is long enough to seek other signs and symptoms of an inflammatory arthritis. Good luck with your visit to your physician.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University