Psoriatic arthritis is a bodily condition that causes inflammation throughout the joints. Usually, this issue occurs because of an overactive immune system, and it happens most commonly in people with psoriasis – a skin disease also related to immune system issues. Sometimes, it is possible for doctors to misdiagnose this condition as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or even gout.
While medication can be used to help control the inflammation and reduce the impact of psoriatic arthritis symptoms, the disease can be a debilitating issue.
Different Types of Psoriatic Arthritis:
This particular condition can come in many forms. For example, symmetric arthritis can affect several joints on both sides of the body, such as both knees or elbows. This issue can be either mild, or severe, and may destroy joints over time so that they can no longer work as they should. Symmetric psoriatic arthritis typically presents in the same way as rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, asymmetric psoriatic arthritis only affects a couple of joints, anywhere on the body.
Distal interphalangeal predominant (DIP) psoriatic arthritis is capable of affecting numerous small joints at the ends of toes and fingers. Sometimes, doctors may misdiagnose it as osteoarthritis – the more common form of arthritis wherein the bone and cartilage in joints begin to wear away. Spondylitis, on the other hand, affects the backbone most commonly, and can cause stiffness and inflammation between the vertebrae of your spine.
Obviously, different types of psoriatic arthritis are likely to show a different selection of symptoms.
The Most Common Symptoms:
In some instances, psoriatic arthritis symptoms can be highly subtle, and may only begin to show up very gradually over time. In other people, the onset of symptoms is sudden and significant. Regardless of the type of psoriatic arthritis you suffer from, you could notice symptoms such as:
– tender, painful, swollen, or stiff joints
– inflammation in numerous areas including the eyes
If the arthritis is mild, you may only notice symptoms occasionally, whereas other people suffer from symptoms constantly. Importantly, it's crucial to note that this disease may cause permanent damage in joints without proper psoriatic arthritis treatment.
Possible Treatment Options:
The best way to begin psoriatic arthritis treatment is to control the inflammation wherever possible. The method for doing this will depend on the severity of your symptoms, and the way your body reacts to different stimuli. Chances are that you will begin taking a medication, such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a biologic drug, a disease-modifying drug, or an enzyme inhibitor.
Exercise may also be important in psoriatic arthritis treatment, as it helps to protect the joints by strengthening the muscles around them. Generally, low-impact and gentle movement can help to increase flexibility and reduce pain.
Other methods you may use in managing psoriatic arthritis could include heat and cold therapy, hands-on active therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and certain forms of acupressure. Your doctor may also recommend the use of splints and assistive devices. While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, the right medications and treatments can control the psoriatic arthritis symptoms so well that you won't notice you have the condition.