Psoriatic arthritis is linked with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that causes red, scaly rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. Having psoriasis raises your risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Most individuals have psoriasis for some time before developing psoriatic arthritis. If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis or are at risk for developing it, the team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut can assist you in managing it effectively and minimizing its impact on your life.
What are the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
Both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are chronic and progressive diseases that worsen over time. Treatment goals are to slow the progression, prevent complications, and reduce your symptoms.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect joints on either or both sides of the body. The signs and symptoms are similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis. Both forms of arthritis cause painful, swollen joints and can cause joint deformity over time.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, you’re likely to experience:
- Finger and toe swelling: Psoriatic arthritis can cause your fingers and toes to swell and feel tight
- Foot pain: Psoriatic arthritis commonly causes Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis
- Low back pain: Some people develop inflammation between the vertebrae (spondylitis) and in the joints between the spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis)
- Nail changes: Nail pitting is very common with psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms may resemble those of other disorders, which is why it’s crucial to see a specialist for a proper diagnosis.
Does psoriatic arthritis put my health at risk?
Psoriatic arthritis can cause severe enough issues that it affects your activity level. However, it’s important to stay active. Our team works together with you to help you maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. Inactivity can cause muscle and joint stiffness.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, you’re at a higher risk of:
Metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease
Psoriatic arthritis raises your risk of diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
These types of bowel diseases include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Psoriatic arthritis is linked to eye illness. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you're at an increased risk of developing uveitis, an inflammation of the pigmented layer (uvea) in the front of the eye. If your rheumatologist finds evidence of eye disease, they collaborate closely with an ophthalmologist for your care.
Which treatment is right for me?
With the goal of attaining remission and minimizing problems, the right treatment depends on factors such as your symptoms, your baseline health, and your age. Changing medications may be required to control psoriatic arthritis and prevent its progression over time.
Early diagnosis and therapy are essential for preventing joint degeneration. The following may be part of a treatment plan to manage your symptoms:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Biological anti-inflammatory therapies
Without treatment, psoriatic arthritis can be debilitating, cause chronic pain, and reduce your quality of life. It’s essential to notify your doctor if your symptoms change or if your treatment becomes unsuccessful.
There’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis. However, if you adhere to your treatment plan and adopt a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your symptoms.
A diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis can feel overwhelming. However, with support from experts, psoriatic arthritis doesn’t have to control your life. To learn more about our approach to managing psoriatic arthritis, schedule a visit with one of our providers by calling our office in Manchester, Connecticut, or booking online today.