Psoriatic Arthritis – Psoriatic Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints causing inflammatory arthritis. If there is persistent inflammation from psoriatic arthritis, it can lead to joint damage.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis usually appears in people between the ages of 30 to 50, but can begin as early as childhood. Men and women are equally at risk. Children with psoriatic arthritis are also at risk to develop uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye). Approximately 15% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. At times, the arthritis can appear before the skin disorder.
- Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic arthritis. In some people, it is mild, with just occasional flare ups. In other people, it is continuous and can cause joint damage if it is not treated. Early diagnosis is important to avoid damage to joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs in people with skin psoriasis, but it can occur in people without skin psoriasis, particularly in those who have relatives with psoriasis.
- Psoriatic arthritis typically affects the large joints, especially those of the lower extremities, distal joints of the fingers and toes, and also can affect the back and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis.
- For most people, appropriate treatments will relieve pain, protect the joints, and maintain mobility. Physical activity helps maintain joint movement.
What are the 5 Types of Psoriatic Arthritis?
This severe type of psoriatic arthritis can deform and destroy the joints in your fingers, hands, wrists, and feet. Arthritis mutilans prevent your bone cells from breaking down and rebuilding, which can cause your fingers to look like the opening of opera glasses (“opera glass hand”) or like a telescope (“telescoping finger”).
Other symptoms of arthritis mutilans include stretched, shiny, and wrinkled finger skin; stiffness and immobility of the joint due to fused together bones (ankyloses); and wearing down of joints and bone tissues in the feet and hands. Thanks to growing advancements in treatment for psoriatic arthritis, arthritis mutilans is rare, occurring in less than 5 percent of people with PsA.
Also known as asymmetric psoriatic arthritis, this type of PsA typically impacts less than five small or large joints in your body. It is called “asymmetrical” because the joint symptoms like pain and redness don’t occur on both sides of your body. You can have pain in the right knee but not in the left, for example. Roughly 35 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis have asymmetric oligoarthritis.
This type of PsA impacts the end joints of your fingers and toes (the distal interphalangeal joints), and can cause nail changes like spotting, pitting, or separating from the nail bed. Less than 20 percent of people with PsA have distal arthritis alone; it often occurs alongside other kinds of psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is considered a type of Spondyloarthropathies, which is an umbrella term for different types of arthritis that have some traits in common. Ankylosing Spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis are also types of spondyloarthritis, for example. In spondyloarthrits, people experience inflammation in the joints of the spine, which can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, lower back, and sacroiliac joints (located on each side of your spine).
If left untreated, the vertebrae in your spine can fuse together. Your hands, feet, legs, arms, and hips may also be impacted. Psoriatic arthritis with axial involvement is a distinct condition that is different from having ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis at the same time, a new study found.
As the name applies, “symmetric” polyarthritis affects five or more joints on both sides of your body (e.g., the right and left elbows), similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This is the most common type of PsA, occurring in roughly half of people with the condition.
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
+ swollen, tender joints on one or both sides of your body
+ painful muscles and tendons
+ eye redness
+ morning stiffness
+ scaly skin patches, which may get worse when joint pain flares up
+ nail pitting
+ eye pain (uveitis)
+ swollen fingers and toes
+ flaky scalp
+ separation of your nail from the nail bed
Psoriatic Arthritis How to Diagnose:
+ Primary Care Physician
+ ANA Test
+ Iron Level/along with Vitamin B & D
+ HLA B27 – Genetic Test, if positive you have a pre-disposition for Rhuematic and/or Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
Physical therapy, taking hot baths or showers, applying some icy hot and massages. Relaxing is good for the body and mind
Treating psoriatic arthritis varies depending on the level of pain, swelling and stiffness. Those with very mild arthritis may require treatment only when their joints are painful and may stop therapy when they feel better. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) are used as initial treatment.
If the arthritis does not respond, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs may be prescribed. These include sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf), and leflunomide. Sometimes combinations of these drugs may be used together.
Get your Questions Answered about Psoriatic Arthritis
ABOUT | Hello my name is Stephanie I’m an autoimmune disease fighter and i wanted to share my story because it’s been a journey for me to have multiple autoimmune diseases and take so many medication everyday which for my age is very young to be diagnosed with. I’m 29 years old and I’m a mother and a girlfriend to my boyfriend of 6 yrs, Sharing my story with you all is a blessing and your not alone!
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES | Psoriatic Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Fibromyalgia, Graves Diseases
|Firsthand Account from Stephanie: Psoriatic arthritis is a very painful disease that I’m battling right now, the aches and pain that comes with it is very frustrating especially when your trying to sleep or do something threw out the day. It affects the way you cook, clean, exercise and physical activities as well as your daily life. This disease has change me as a person and to take more care of my body. Since my bones and muscles are not the same anymore. I had been on so many medications and so far it hasn’t help. But I just started Stelara and it’s too soon to tell but I’m still feeling pain and tiredness.|