Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Muscle Stiffness Overview

What is the significance of muscle stiffness?
A person with muscle stiffness has increased tightening of the muscles, which reduces flexibility and interferes with normal movement. Muscle stiffness is commonly associated with a muscle injury, such as a muscle strain. Causes of muscle stiffness include metabolic abnormalities, electrolyte imbalances, and drug side effects. Diseases that cause muscle stiffness include Parkinson's disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve disease, and neurological disease.

What symptoms may accompany muscle stiffness?
Symptoms that may accompany muscle stiffness include muscle cramps, muscle pain, muscle weakness, and muscle tenderness. Depending on the location of the stiffness, symptoms may include leg pain, arm pain, neck pain, abdominal pain, and back pain.

How does the doctor treat muscle stiffness?
Treatment for muscle stiffness depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include, muscle stretching, massage, or muscle relaxant medications. Additional treatment for muscle stiffness may include intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement.

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