Inflamed joints and itchy, scaly skin — when the going gets tough, you might be in need of psoriatic arthritis treatment.
In this article:
- What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?
- What Are the First Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?
- Who Can Suffer From Psoriatic Arthritis?
- What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?
- How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed?
- What Are the Different Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Options?
- What Are the Natural Management Options for Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
Must Know Information About Psoriatic Arthritis
What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of arthritis that may manifest itself to people suffering from psoriasis. The condition usually causes the affected joints to become stiff, inflamed, and painful.
Similar to psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is considered a long-term condition which may get progressively worse. Severe cases may cause joints to become permanently damaged or deformed. An early diagnosis and the right treatment may slow down progress and prevent further damage.
What Are the First Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis commonly develops years after unmanaged psoriasis. Early symptoms usually include:
- Swelling in the ankles, knees, hands, and feet
- Stiffness and pain from the buttocks, lower back, upper back, and neck because of the inflammation in the hip bones or joints of the spine
- Difficulty walking or climbing the stairs
- Ridges and pitting toe and fingernails
- Painful eyesight and inflamed iris
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Note that some of these symptoms are similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis and your doctor may need to prescribe more tests to get an accurate diagnosis.
Who Can Suffer From Psoriatic Arthritis?
The following are at risk of developing psoriatic arthritis:
- People with existing psoriatic conditions
- With a family history of psoriatic arthritis
- Men and women between the ages of 30-50
What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic Arthritis, much like psoriasis, is an autoimmune disease which occurs when the body attacks its own parts. In this condition, the tendons and joints are considered the “foreign objects”. And much like other autoimmune diseases, the cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown. But, genes, environment, and one’s immune system may play a role.
How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed?
The doctor will assess symptoms and medical history apart from lab test results:
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate gives an idea of the amount of inflammation present in your body, which could come about because of psoriatic arthritis.
- Rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibody tests help differentiate rheumatoid arthritis from psoriatic arthritis.
- X-ray and bone density assess bone loss, which is one of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
What Are the Different Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Options?
Psoriatic arthritis treatment involves managing the joint inflammation as well as the skin condition.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aim to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Examples of these are naproxen, ibuprofen, and diclofenac.
- For a single swollen or inflamed joint, the doctor may inject corticosteroids directly. Oral tablets are also available. Consult your doctor prior to starting and ceasing the intake of steroidal medications.
- Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDS) are best taken earlier and can take several weeks or even months to start working. Examples of are leflunomide, sulfasalazine, and methotrexate.
- Biological medications like abatacept, adalimumab, and etanercept work by stopping certain chemicals in your blood from activating the immune system to attack the lining of your joints.
- Surgery is often used as a last resort when none of the other treatments have worked. Synovectomy removes the diseased lining of the joint. Joint replacement, on the other hand, may be needed for extensive damages.
What Are the Natural Management Options for Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
Exercise. Ask a doctor what exercises are safe for you to do. Low impact activities such as swimming, walking or biking are all good examples.
Hot and Cold Compress. Moist heat can help relax painful muscles and relieve joint pain and stiffness. You can incorporate this treatment via hot pack, warm towel, and a warm shower or bath. Coldness can help ease swelling and pain. The treatment can be applied by a bag of ice wrapped in a towel.
Assistive Devices. Grab bars, canes, and luggage carts can help give you move around. Consult an occupational therapist or physiotherapist for help.
Here are the best natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis from Health Care Tips:
Getting psoriatic arthritis treatment at the early onset of the condition may help prevent permanent damage. Educate yourself. Explore your options. Discuss a suitable treatment plan for you with your physician.
What treatments have you tried for psoriatic arthritis? Tell us in the comments section below!
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