Psoriatic Arthritis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of inflammatory arthritis that affects the people suffering from skin disease known as psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterized by fiery red and dry scales on the affected skin and nail abnormalities. Normally, people are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis after the symptoms of psoriasis appear but sometimes joint problems may start before the symptoms of psoriasis start appearing.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis can be diagnosed at any part of the body which may also include spine and finger tips. The severity of the condition may depend on the periods of remission.  The treatment of psoriatic arthritis is questionable as there is no cure for this condition. It can only be controlled by focusing on the symptoms of this disease and the prevention of damages caused by this condition. If the situation is not controlled, then it can also lead to disabling.

Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis

The cause of psoriatic arthritis can be environmental or genetic. In this condition, body’s own defence cells start attacking body’s healthy tissues or cells. This leads to the inflammation of the healthy tissue in the joints. The family history of psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis can lead to development of this condition and thus confirming the involvement of genes as predisposing factor in the development of this disease.

Environmental conditions such as bacterial or viral infection or any kind of external trauma may cause psoriatic arthritis in people with inherited predisposition.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Painful and swollen joints are the main symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis among the patients suffering from psoriasis. The condition can affect either sides or only one side of your body.PsoriaticArthritis is characterized by almost similar symptoms as of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms include:

  1. Swelling: swelling of finger and toes is one of the early symptoms of this condition. The swelling can be painful and it may also cause deformity in hands and feet.
  2. Pain in lower back: psoriatic arthritis can also lead to the development of spondylitis. It is the condition in which inflammation of the joints occur between the spinal vertebrae.
  3. Foot pain: pain especially in the sole of foot and the back of heels is the characteristic of psoriatic arthritis. Pain usually occurs at the attachment points of tendons and ligaments.

Predisposing factors

The following risk factors can predisposed the development of this disease:

  1. Genetics: people with family history of psoriatic arthritis have higher chances of developing this disease.
  2. Psoriasis: This is one of the biggest risk factor for the development of this disease. People suffering from psoriasis and especially people having lesions affecting nails are more likely to develop this condition.
  3. Age: people with age 30 to 50 are more likely to be affected by this condition.

Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis

These are the treatments for Psoriatic arthritis:

  1. Supportive measure: change in the lifestyle behaviour will act as supportive measure for the treatment of this disease.
  • Regular exercise will help you in keeping your joints and muscles strong.
  • Maintenance of healthy weight will reduce the strain on your joints.
  • Use of cold and hot packs on joints to dull pain sensation.
  1. Pharmacological treatment: includes use of medications like immunosuppressant, NSAIDS, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) etc.
  1. Surgical treatment: Includes:
  • Use of steroid injections.
  • Joint replacement surgery in severe cases in which joints have been severely damaged by psoriatic arthritis..