Stiffness Indicates How Much Inflammation is Present

Stiffness is a feeling of resistance when trying to move. It can be caused by inflammation or a collection of fluid that limits space or boundaries. If stiffness is caused by inflammation in the tissues, it is usually worse after extended periods of rest or inactivity. For example, when you are in bed asleep for seven to nine hours, fluid collects due to inflammation around injured tissues in the spinal column. When you get out of bed for the day and start moving around, the fluid clears and the stiffness goes away. How long stiffness lasts and how severe it is can be an indication of how much inflammation is present.