Psoriatic arthritis is a condition associated with arthritis (inflammation of joints) where people will develop small red patches on the skin causing stiffness and swelling of joints. Often psoriasis develops first and after few days arthritis may develop but for some people initially they develop arthritis, a chronic inflammatory condition of joints and later they develop skin rashes on it.
This condition can affect any joints and even the fingertips causing severe pain. This disease will have remission period followed by flares. Treatment can be given for managing the symptoms but the disease cannot be cured completely.
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease where people may have flare-ups (symptoms worsen) and remission (symptoms disappear). Very often the joints on one side of your body get affected. It can affect any joints of the body causing inflammation and pain. This disease is characterized by swollen extremities. The fingers and toes become swollen causing severe pain. The affected person will have difficulty in lifting objects using fingers and may have problems with simple task of writing their names.
For some people there will be back pain (inflammation of joints of the spine) and foot pain affecting the ligaments of the heel and soles of the foot. Due to this the mobility of the person gets affected. The joints become rigid and stiff due to swelling giving intense pain while movement. In many cases, the stiffness is very severe in the mornings which may reduce in the afternoon. The symptoms can be mild to severe depending on the intensity of the disease. For some people it may take months together for showing initial symptoms but for others it can be quick and severe.
The main cause for psoriatic arthritis is weakened immunity. The body’s immune system will attack the joints and tendons by mistake causing inflammation and pain. However it is still not clear what exactly triggers the immune system for self-attack. People with family history of psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis are likely to develop this disease. It is possible that physical injury on the joints or bacterial infection (left untreated) can trigger this condition.
Risk Factors :
People having family history of psoriatic arthritis, people having psoriasis with weakened immunity, and people who are in the middle age are prone to develop this disease.
Your doctor will look for the symptoms and check the joints for inflammation. He may do a biopsy by removing a small tissue from the joints and testing it in the lab.
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis and it is a chronic condition. Medications are given to lessen the joint pain and for facilitating the mobility problem. NSAID drugs like Advil or naproxen sodium are given to reduce inflammation of the joints. But long term use of these drugs can cause side effects. Anti-rheumatic drugs are highly effective in slowing down the process of tissue damage on the joints. Some of the common drugs of this category are methotrexate, leflunomide and sulfasalazine.
Since this disease is an autoimmune disorder immune-suppressant drugs like azathioprine or cyclosporine are prescribed for suppressing the immune system. Alpha inhibitors like Enbrel, Remicade and Humira of tumor necrosis factor TNF is given for controlling pain and stuffiness in the joints. In severe cases, the person is given steroid injection for getting quick relief from pain. Surgery is done if the joints are severely damaged by the disease making movement impossible.
Pictures of Psoriatic Arthritis :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Psoriatic Arthritis
Home Remedies :
Minimize the use of your fingers. Avoid opening the containers using fingers instead you can use tools or gadgets for opening the jars. Maintain your weight since obesity can give rise to joint pain and inflammation. Make it a practice to go for a walk daily. Walking and jogging can increase blood circulation and improves muscle flexibility. If you have severe pain due to swelling of joints, you can apply cold/hot packs alternatively to get some relief and to reduce stiffness. Reduce your stress by joining yoga class and meditation.