Psoriatic arthritis is a specific condition in which a person with psoriasis develops arthritis. In psoriasis the skin is affected and joints can often get affected by psoriasis.
The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is not understood. Several factors which perhaps promote the development of psoriatic arthritis include genetic (family), environmental, and immune causes.
Psoriatic arthritis has a variable presentation. It can affect joints in a symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern, and any joint of the body (like small joints of the hand, knee, hip) can be affected. It usually affects multiple joints. Psoriasis can affect the nails. In these patients the joints nearest the fingertips are likely to become arthritic.
Common symptoms associated with psoriatic arthritis besides joint pain includes:
Early and accurate diagnosis is essential so proper treatment can be started. Specific clinical, laboratory or radiographic criteria for the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis are not available. Physical examination, blood tests, x-rays, CT scan and MRI may be done to rule out other types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, reactive arthritis) with similar symptoms.
The aim of treatment for psoriatic arthritis is to control inflammation and pain. Treatment for psoriatic arthritis helps to ease pain, reduce swelling, helps to keep joints working properly and possibly prevent further joint damage. Doctors will recommend treatment for you based on the type and severity of psoriatic arthritis and your reaction to treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of disease, preserve function of the joint and range of motion.
Medications: Medications used to control pain and inflammation in psoriatic arthritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), DMARDs, and biologics.
Other therapies: Rest, heat and physical therapy are important adjuncts in the treatment of pain in psoriatic arthritis along with drug therapy.
Surgery: If the joint is severely deformed and the pain is not controlled by medications surgery and rehabilitatio...
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