Call Your Doctor If:
- The pain and stiffness come on gradually; you may be experiencing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another arthritic condition.
- The pain comes on quickly and is accompanied by fever; you may have infectious arthritis. If there's no fever, you may be developing gout (often in the big toe) or pseudogout.
- 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.