I am a 48 year old female who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis (left knee) nearly 10 years ago. After multiple tries on NSAIDS which made me ill, my orthopaedic surgeon settled on pain management (narcotic) which I have been taking for the past six years. While not an ideal situation, I follow my prescription to the letter, never taking more than prescribed. Over the past year I began to experience joint stiffness in the mornings. I am now at the point where the stiffness has gotten so bad it wakes me up in the night when I try to move after being in any position for a prolonged period of time (usually waking up every hour to stretch the joint out). As a result I am exhausted most of the time. The stiffness lasts for a couple of hours but comes back quickly if I sit in one position for any length of time. I have also begun to experience flaring pain in my left ankle, radiating to the outside upper portion of my foot. It is not swollen or red, just painful and does not allow me to put my full weight on it. I have gained a tremendous amount of weight (50 pounds) in the past two years and due to the pain I experience when exercising, have not gotten it, which I know aggravates the arthritis, under control yet. I know the weight gain is stressing my joints to the max. I have made a commitment this year to curb my emotional eating and follow a very strict exercise routine (walking, yoga, stationary bike and strengthening/stretching exercises) and do my best to get this weight off now! My question is, could the joint stiffness in the night and mornings be related to osteoarthritis? Or could it be signs of RA? I see my family doc (first check up in 4 years in a couple of weeks) and I'd like to know the right tests to ask for. I am in constant pain despite the pain medication. I have a great job and family, my husband is a tennis teaching pro and my kids and he are fit and slim. I feel I am missing out on so much because my pain and extreme fatigue keeps me sidelined.