Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis which causes pain and swelling in the joints. It is also called arthropathic psoriasis or arthropathy with psoria.
Psoriatic arthritis also causes swelling and discomfort in places where the bone is bound by ligaments and tendons. Psoriatic arthritis can result in permanent joint damage, without treatment.
This article will look at the psoriatic arthritis symptoms , risk factors and complications. It’ll also discuss options for recovery.
What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is autoimmune. The body mistakenly identifies healthy tissues as foreign invaders with autoimmune conditions, and produces antibodies to attack them. This leads to pain, Inflammation and injury.
Individuals can develop psoriatic arthritis at any age according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. It is most likely, however, to happen at age 30–50 years.
People with psoriasis are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis than people who do not have the disease. Around 30 percent of psoriasis sufferers develop psoriatic arthritis.
But having extreme psoriasis does not automatically mean that one must have serious psoriatic arthritis as well.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect many body parts including:
Toe joints may be visibly swollen, and touch sensitive. The distal joints, proximal joints or both may be involved. Implication can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
People with psoriatic arthritis may feel pain from inflammation of the tendons and ligaments at the bottoms of their feet or in their Achilles tendons.
Knees, scalp, and elbows may develop psoriatic rashes. The outbursts seem to be:
In the fingers, too, the same swelling that happens in the toes will occur, with inflammation affecting the distal finger joints more than the proximal joints. Even this presence may be symmetric or asymmetric.
Since psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation of the ligaments and tendons, this condition can cause people to feel rib pain.
There can be inflammation and swelling in the elbows. The pain may feel like tennis elbow, with pain going from the elbows to the forearms and wrists.
Some people may experience pelvic inflammation and stiffness.
People with psoriatic arthritis may notice changes in their nail appearance. The changes may mimic an infection with a fungal appearance. The fingernails or toenails the show changes.
Also, psoriatic arthritis may cause eye symptoms, such as:
- blurred vision
- sensitivity to bright light
- uveitis, which is a serious inflammatory condition occurring in a small percentage of people
Psoriatic arthritis may affect the spine, and spondylitis is known as this inflammation. It may cause discomfort in the neck and pain in the lower back.
Approximately 20 per cent of people with psoriatic arthritis may develop spondylitis, according to the American Spondylitis Association.
In addition to affecting the hands and feet, different joints in the body may often get swollen and inflamed due to psoriatic arthritis, resulting in stiffness, discomfort, and tenderness.
It is important to note that this type of arthritis can be very damaging and a healthcare professional should conduct joint imaging regularly to determine potential damage.
There is no known cause unique to psoriatic arthritis.
However, 40 percent of people with the disease have a friend that has either arthritis or psoriasis, according to the American College of Rheumatology. This means it has a genetic aspect.
Also, psoriatic arthritis may have ties to environmental causes, like:
- acute injury
Psoriatic arthritis actually will not get healed. Medications may also help to stop the progression of the disease and reduce the symptoms.
Treatment is contingent upon the symptom intensity. A person with mild psoriatic arthritis, for example, may need care only during flare-ups. People with mild psoriatic arthritis can find relief with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If NSAIDs are not responding to the condition, a doctor may suggest:
- disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
- tumor necrosis factor inhibitors
- corticosteroid injections
In cases where there is serious damage a doctor can suggest surgery.
Exercise and movement play an important part in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Exercising can help a person retain mobility and flexibility, and decrease the stiffness of their joints. People may try to strengthen and protect their joints by doing things such as walking, swimming or cycling.
If there is also psoriasis a doctor may suggest:
When psoriasis is also present, a doctor may suggest:
- topical creams and lotions
- exposure to sunlight or UV light
People can manage symptoms at home by:
- performing strengthening and flexibility exercises
- using hot and cold therapy to help with inflammation and swelling
- using braces and splints to support the joints
Psoriatic arthritis There is no clear examination. A rheumatologist is therefore an appropriate specialist for verifying the diagnosis.
A rheumatologist may ask the person about their medical history, including whether they have had psoriasis before or not.
They can also prescribe scans to help validate a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis and rule out possible causes, as well as doing a physical exam.
These tests may include:
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may be similar to those of other forms of arthritis which can challenge confirming a diagnosis. In addition to other symptoms, having skin or nail changes may also indicate the presence of psoriatic arthritis.
A rare symptom of psoriatic arthritis is enthesitis, which refers to tenderness in areas where bones are connected with tendons and ligaments.
Some risk factors to psoriatic arthritis include:
- Age: The condition is more likely in people aged 30–50 years.
- Family history: Genes may play a role in the development of psoriatic arthritis.
- History of psoriasis: Around one-third of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
People with psoriatic arthritis are more likely to develop other severe conditions, such as:
- heart disease
- Crohn’s disease
- metabolic syndrome
- liver disease
Untreated psoriatic arthritis may cause permanent damage to the joint and a loss of joint function.
When to see a doctor
Psoriatic arthritis may look very much like other arthritis. Hence, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and start the necessary care.
If a person has psoriasis with arthritis-like symptoms, such as joint pain and swelling, a doctor will see him. Early treatment can help to reduce the condition’s complications, such as joint damage.
Psoriatic arthritis may have a significant effect on the quality of life of a individual.
There is currently no cure for the disease but with the aid of a doctor, people can control their symptoms. Early treatment by delaying the progression of the disease may prevent significant damage to the joints.
Changes in lifestyle can help alleviate discomfort and swelling, and make coping with the condition easier. Those modifications include:
- incorporating low impact exercises
- resting during flare-ups
- finding and avoiding arthritis triggers
- maintaining a moderate weight
Early diagnosis is important to help delay progression of the disease and to avoid permanent damage to the joint.
Since there is currently little understanding of the underlying causes of psoriatic arthritis, there is nothing that health care providers can do to prevent it.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of autoimmune that may affect the joints and spine. Symptoms may be mild, extreme or moderate. Sometimes it happens in combination with psoriasis.
Many sections of the body such as skin , hair, and eyes can also be affected by psoriatic arthritis.
The disorder can cause joint damage and instability without treatment, and lead to other serious health complications.
Early care, however, can delay the progression and help a control the symptoms.