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Psoriatic Arthritis: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

A form of arthritis that affects individuals who suffer from the psoriasis condition, psoriatic arthritis showcases red patches on a person’s skin that include silver-like scales. In most cases, psoriasis will develop initially and then as time wears on, psoriatic arthritis appears.

The condition occurs when a person’s immune system starts to attack healthy tissues and cells. As the immune response is abnormal, inflammation will occur within a person’s joints, in addition to an overproduction of one’s skins cells.

Signs & Symptoms

It’s important to note that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic conditions that do worsen as time progresses. There is a silver lining in it all, as there are periods of time where patients see symptoms ease up, or even go into remission. Alternatively, there are also times where these signs and symptoms of the condition flare up.

Common signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Joint Pain: The main symptoms of this condition resemble rheumatoid arthritis where patients suffer from joint discomfort. This can occur on both or one side of the body, where joints become warm to the touch, swollen, and patients can experience quite a bit of pain.
  • Swelling of Toes and Fingers: Both toes and fingers of those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis can experience swelling, causing pain and at times, deformities in both feet and hands.
  • Pain In Feet: Ligaments and tendons attached to a person’s foot bones can experience pain; especially when it comes to a person’s heel or the sole of their feet.
  • Pain In Lower Back: There are patients who develop what is called spondylitis, thanks to psoriatic arthritis. This is a condition that creates joint inflammation between the spine and vertebrae, as well as the pelvis and spine.

Treatment Options

While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, there are plenty of treatment options that focus on easing one’s joint pain and helping to lower inflammation. Without treating the disease, patients would be left in a rather debilitating circumstance.

Medications

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are medications that can help those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis by reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Patients can purchase over-the-counter NSAIDs in the form of ibuprofen and naproxen; however, if they require something stronger, prescription NSAIDs can be issued out by a doctor.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): This type of medication assists with slowing down the condition’s progression to help tissues and joints from any long-term damage.
  • Immunosuppressants: The goal for this medication is help discipline a patient’s immune system, which is the root cause of the psoriatic arthritis.
  • TNF-alpha inhibitors: The “TNF” stands for tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which is an inflammatory substance that the body produces. Thus, TNF-alpha inhibitors assist with pain, swollen and tender joints, as well as morning stiffness.

Procedures

In addition to medications, below are some procedures that psoriatic arthritis suffers can choose from.

  • Steroid Injections: Quickly reduces inflammation, and at times is injected directly into the joint that is affected.
  • Joint replacement surgery: If a person’s joints have been damaged significantly due topsoriatic arthritis, then an artificial prosthetic is made from plastic and metal, which can be used to replace the unrepairable joint.

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