1 A measure of the resistance of a joint to movement. It is defined as the change in joint angle divided by a change in joint torque or moment. Joint stiffness depends on the resistances offered by joint structures (including muscles and ligaments), skin, and subcutaneous connective tissue.
2 A condition, characterized by difficulty in moving a joint, which is usually accompanied by discomfort and pain. Joint stiffness often follows a joint injury when muscles go into a protective spasm, which reduces movement. Joint stiffness should be treated cautiously and no attempt should be made to move the joint forcibly. Persistent, painful stiffness requires medical investigation and treatment.
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