Psoriatic Arthritis : Symptoms and signs

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 25, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • About 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
  • Psoriatic arthritis involves inflammation of the knees, ankles, and joints.
  • Joint stiffness is common and is typically worse early in the morning.
  • Psoriatic arthritis can also cause inflammation of the spine

Psioriatic arthritis affects people who have psoriasis, a condition in which the skin have red patches with silvery scales. Usually people develop psoriasis first which eventually lead to psoriatic arthritis.  However the joint problems can begin before the lesions on skin appear.

Psoriatic Arthritis

I t can affect any part of the body including the fingertips and spine and can range from relatively mild to severe.  About 10 to 30 percent of people who have psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis and usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis involves inflammation of the knees, ankles and joints in the feet and hands. At a time only a few joints get inflamed and become very painful. Inflammation of the joints in the fingers or toes can lead to swelling of the entire digit making them look like sausage cocktail.

Symptoms and signs

Joint stiffness is very common and gets worsen in the early morning. Psoriatic arthritis may involve joints of the body in a symmetrical pattern, mimicking the pattern of rheumatoid arthritis. It can also lead to the inflammation of the spine and sacrum causing pain and stiffness in lower back, buttocks, neck and upper back. Most cases of spondylitis   have genetic marker HLA-B27. But in rare cases the psoriatic arthritis may also involve the small joints at the ends of the fingers.

Mutilans is the destructive form of arthritis which causes rapid damage to the joints and feet. However, this form is rarely found the psoriatic arthritis patients. The patients with psoriatic arthritis can lead to the inflammation of tendons and cartilage. The inflammation may result in enthesopathy a condition in which the inflammation of a tendon behind the heel causes Achilles tendinitis. It can cause pain with the walking and climbing the stairs. Chest wall inflammation along with the inflammation around the cartilage which links the ribs to the breastbone can cause chest pain.


Image Courtesy : Getty

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