Psoriatic Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Posted on November 18th, 2022 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis affects those with the skin condition psoriasis; both are chronic diseases that worsen over time. This arthritis type is autoimmune, meaning that the body’s immune system, which is normally supposed to protect us from infection and illness, mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. With psoriatic arthritis, this attack is focused on the joints. 

The condition can cause intense pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the joints. Psoriatic arthritis also can affect other parts of the body, including the skin and nails.

Psoriatic Arthritis Causes

Those with the skin condition psoriasis are at risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the healthy joints. Genetic and environmental factors can play a role in this condition’s development. Many people with this arthritis have a family history of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Physical trauma or other environmental health conditions, such as a bacterial infection, can also trigger psoriatic arthritis. 

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Psoriatic arthritis can affect joints throughout the body, either on one side or both. The signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for with this condition include: 

  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Foot pain, especially in the back of your heel or in the sole of your foot
  • Lower back pain
  • Changes such as tiny dents in the nails
  • Eye inflammation

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatments

Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic conditions, and there is no cure, but there are treatments available to help lessen the severity of the symptoms and slow the condition’s progression. 

For those with psoriasis, some treatment options include: 

  • Creams and ointments
  • Phototherapy, an ultraviolet light therapy
  • Medications such as immunosuppressive drugs and steroids

For those with psoriatic arthritis, some treatment options include: 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Steroid injections
  • Joint replacements
  • Self-care, including warm compresses, drinking plenty of water, avoiding joint-stressful activities, etc. 

For exceptional orthopaedic care, including arthritis treatment, contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group!

It’s crucial to seek expert medical treatment if you struggle with problems or pain associated with your bones or joints. Give the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group a call at (203) 337-2600, and let us know how we can help you! Don’t let that pain hold you back from living your life. Your health and safety are our top priority.