The pain and stiffness come on quickly, whether from an injury or an unknown cause; you may be experiencing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another arthritic condition such as gout.
The pain is accompanied by fever; you may have infectious arthritis.
You notice pain and stiffness in your arms, legs, or back after sitting for short periods or after a night's sleep; you may be developing rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another arthritic condition.
A child develops rash or pain in the knees, wrists, and ankles, or has fever swings, poor appetite, and weight loss; the child may have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
American College of Rheumatology. DePuy Orthapaedics. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Arthritis Foundation. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University. Arthritis-forum.net. National Institutes of Health. The Center for Current Research. National Internet Health. Alternative Medicine Foundation.