Psoriatic Arthritis is a medical condition that affects the joints all over the body. It causes your joints to become inflamed, which can cause mild to severe pain and damage in your joints. Psoriatic Arthritis affects people who have some type of psoriasis already.
Psoriatic Arthritis can affect people of all ages, though you are more likely to see it in older people. It is generally treated by either your regular medical doctor, or a doctor who specializes in arthritic conditions.
Psoriasis by itself is a skin disease that is caused by immune problems, sometimes it is mistaken for gout by doctors. Unless you have a family history of Psoriasis, it can be hard to diagnose.
Once you have psoriatic arthritis, there are some things that you can do to aid your doctor in your treatment.
While prescription medications are the obvious route to take when dealing with this disease, there are home remedies that you can try to help take away some of the pain in between your doctor appointments.
Taking joint supplements along with your prescription medication can help to prevent severe joint damage from becoming a long term problem. Exercise is a great way to get your joints moving and make sure that you are easing your pain in a natural way.
You don’t need to be moving at a high pace as walking on a daily basis or taking extra steps to your destination can greatly increase your chances of being able to move around with little to no pain in your joints.
Types Of Psoriatic Arthritis
There are five different types of Psoriatic Arthritis and while they are all categorized as Psoriatic Arthritis, they affect different joints in your body and can cause you to have different types of pain.
There are also different treatment options for some of them, but research has indicated that all of them can be treated in the same way.
So you may find that if you have a different one from your family member, you both might be on the same treatment plan, or have treatment plans that are similar to each other.
The five types of Psoriatic Arthritis are Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis, Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis, DIP (Distal interphalangeal predominant) Psoriatic Arthritis, Spondylitis, and Arthritis mutilans.
Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
This Psoriatic Arthritis is very similar to Rheumatoid arthritis when it comes to symptoms and can be mistaken for Rheumatoid arthritis.
This arthritis affects several joints in your knees and your elbows and if it is allowed to progress without treatment, it can become debilitating for the person who is suffering from it.
You can experience this arthritis in a mild to severe form, and of course, the more severe your arthritis, the more likely that you will experience extreme pain and begin to lose the use of those joints.
The progression of this particular arthritis can take months to years to begin disabling your joints depending on how severe of a case that you have.
Your doctor will be able to provide prescription treatment for this and may suggest that you see a physical therapist to help you keep the strength in your joints.
Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
This arthritis mainly affects the fingers and toes in sufferers, though it can happen in any joint in your body. It also does not matter the size of your joints, as this can affect them whether they are big or small.
One of the foremost symptoms of this arthritis is swelling of the fingers and toes. Research candidates state that their fingers or toes began to look like sausages.
Distal Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP) Psoriatic Arthritis
This arthritis has similarities to osteoarthritis, as they both affect the joints at the end of your hands and feet. It can also affect the quality of your finger and toe nails as well, and that may be your first sign that something is going on with your joints.
You may experience pain or numbing in the ends of your fingers and toes, and even though this can be associated with other diseases, it is certainly something to keep in mind while speaking with your doctor.
This version of Psoriatic Arthritis actually affects your entire backbone and it is not limited to just one area, though you may feel pain in only one area. It affects the joints and cartilage between your vertebra, by causing joint pain and stiffness.
The stiffness you are looking for is not like stiffness related to sitting in one position for too long. This is entirely different and can cause you to experience extreme pain.
Because it affects your backbone area, it can have an effect on your neck, spine, lower back, and pelvis area. You may also experience muscle spasms and problems with your connective tissue as a result of this arthritis.
More often than not, if you are diagnosed with arthritis in your back, this is going to be the culprit. It affects no other areas of your body and stays centralized to your back.
Your doctor may prefer more extensive x-rays, such as an MRI to determine where your joints are deteriorating and how this arthritis is affecting your movement.
This is a rare form of psoriatic arthritis, and while it is rare it is also the most destructive and severe form of psoriatic arthritis.
This arthritis affects the joints in your fingers and toes, and while it shares symptoms with DIP psoriatic arthritis, that is where the similarities end.
Arthritis Mutilans can become so severe that it can disfigure your fingers and toes by attacking the small joints at the end of them. It is very debilitating and can reduce the use of hands or feet altogether if it is not caught early.
Psoriatic Arthritis Causes
In the majority of people who have psoriatic arthritis, around half of them have a family member that has either arthritis or a skin disease. There is no clear cause for psoriatic arthritis, but researchers believe that genes play a large role in the people who get it.
Around one-third of the people who have psoriasis will have it develop into one of the five forms of psoriatic arthritis, though people who do not have psoriasis can also get it.
This is where genes come into play if you do not have a skin disease but maybe your parent or grandparent did. You are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis than someone who does not have a family member with a skin disease.
Psoriasis happens when your body begins attacking something from outside of it. Symptoms include changes in the color or appearance of your finger and toe nails, as well as a red, scaly rash on your arms, elbows, hands and feet.
However, just because you have psoriasis does not necessarily mean that you will develop psoriatic arthritis. Like with any other genes, it can skip generations, or stop with one generation and not return.
It is simply the luck of the draw in the gene pool that will determine if you develop it or not. But it is important to remember that if you have a family member with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you are at an increased risk of developing one if not both.
It does not discriminate against gender or age so men and women are both equally as likely to get it. And while you may notice that it develops more into your thirties and on into your fifties, children can also have psoriatic arthritis.
Though it is more common for people who have psoriasis already to develop psoriatic arthritis, it is not the rule. Many people who do not have psoriasis can develop this arthritis, depending on their genes and their environment.
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
There are a few symptoms to look for when it comes to diagnosis and choosing when to go to the doctor to be checked out. With each form of psoriatic arthritis, you will notice fatigue, morning stiffness, and pain or tenderness in your joints.
You may also notice that your skin looks swollen or your muscles feel swollen. It is important to have your doctor check for these signs and symptoms at your yearly appointment, but if you feel they are getting worse or they are painful, you need to have them checked out.
Your doctor can do multiple treatments to help you treat your psoriatic arthritis. From prescription medications to therapies, there are many things that you can try.
More often than not, you doctor will combine medicinal steroids with physical therapy to double time the arthritis to help give you more relief.
Psoriatic Arthritis Summary
Treatment can last for a few weeks to years depending on the severity of your situation and how your joints respond to treatment. There is currently no cure for psoriatic arthritis, and if you develop it, you will be dealing with it for the rest of your life.
Therefore, it is very important that you make sure you are informing your doctor of every symptom that you have. If you do develop psoriatic arthritis, you need to stay on a treatment plan and make sure you are following the plan exactly for the most benefit to yourself.