Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people who already have psoriasis. This is a long-term condition that usually gets worse over time if it is not treated. A telltale sign of this condition is a collection of red skin patches that feature silvery scales. Psoriasis is usually the condition diagnosed first, followed by the arthritis component. Occasionally, joint pain will be felt before psoriasis shows itself.
Roughly 30% of people with psoriasis will eventually also suffer from psoriatic arthritis. In the United States, close to 8 million people have psoriasis, meaning a little over 2 million Americans have psoriatic arthritis. These individuals will either develop a mild or severe version of the condition, involving either one or several joints. These joints will feel swollen and sore while their skin will become itchy.
The most glaring symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. These symptoms can show up in many areas of the body, everywhere from the fingertips to the spine. Interestingly, there are periods of remission, followed by flare-ups. Currently, there is no cure. However, it is definitely possible to manage the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis so that joints can stay protected from damage.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
Unfortunately, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are both chronic diseases. What’s even more tragic is that they get worse as time goes on. Thankfully, it’s not always pain and misery, because symptoms can clear up, and the diseases can even go into remission.
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can show up as joint pain on either side of the body, or on both simultaneously. Interestingly, the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are very similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling, pain, and warmth are all symptoms in both diseases.
Psoriatic arthritis can lead to additional symptoms such as the following:
- Swelling in fingers and toes
- Deformities in fingers and toes
- Pain in the feet where tendons and ligaments attach to bones
- Lower back pain
- Spondylitis, where inflammation of joints between spinal vertebrae occurs
- Joint pain and stiffness in the morning
- Pain in muscles and tendons
- Scaly patches of skin
- Flaky skin on the scalp
- Nail pitting
- Redness in the eye
- Eye pain, also known as uveitis
Different people experience different symptoms on this list. Also, any of these symptoms can range from mild to severe. It can seem like the condition went away when it goes into remission, only to come flaring up back again.
Depending on what type of psoriatic arthritis you have, you will experience different symptoms. This means that for some, only one joint is affected. For others, multiple joints are affected. People with spondylitis psoriatic arthritis will experience the following symptoms:
- Joint pain in the spine
- Spinal stiffness
- Joint pain in hips, knees, ankles, feet, elbows, hands, wrists, and other joints
- Swollen toes and fingers
When someone is suffering from symmetric psoriatic arthritis, at least five of their joints are affected by symptoms on both sides. When a person has asymmetric psoriatic arthritis, fewer than five joints are affected and can be on opposite sides.
Another variation of psoriatic arthritis called psoriatic arthritis mutilans can result in deformities of the joints. This means that even fingers and toes may become shortened. Finally, the variation known as distal psoriatic arthritis leads to pain and swelling at the end joints located in the fingers and toes.
Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis
The initial cause of psoriatic arthritis is when your body’s natural immune response shifts from protecting your healthy cells and tissue to attacking it. This is what leads to joint pain and inflammation that is common in people living with arthritis. It also leads to more skin cells being produced than usual.
While we are still unsure of what actually causes the immune system to attack healthy cells and tissue, we do know that there are genetic and environmental roles in the cause of it. A majority of people suffering from this condition have had a family history of either psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. There are genetic markers that have been uncovered that indicate they are connected with the disease.
It also has been noticed that physical trauma, as well as something unknown within the environment, can trigger the condition. The prevailing theory is that either a viral or bacterial infection can be responsible for it if the cause originated from the environment. However, this usually only happens in those who already have an inherited tendency for psoriatic arthritis.
Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis
While there is no known cure for psoriatic arthritis, there are a few ways to manage and treat the symptoms.
There are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs, that can help control the pain and swelling. However, these have dangerous side effects that may sometimes lead to stomach bleeding, heart attacks, strokes, and damage to the liver and kidneys.
Another option is the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, known as DMARDs, the reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of psoriatic arthritis. As with NSAIDs, there are side effects, including liver damage, suppression of bone marrow, and lung infections.
The third method of treatment of this condition involves taking a joint supplement containing natural ingredients. JointFuel360 is a popular joint supplement that is packed with inflammation-reducing ingredients like black pepper extract and turmeric, as well as Boswellia serrata (frankincense). These can all help reduce swelling caused by this condition. There are also other ingredients, including resveratrol, type II collagen, and hyaluronic acid, that all help protect the joints. The advantage of taking something like JointFuel360 for joint pain is that there are no adverse side effects.
Psoriatic arthritis is a challenging condition to live with. With genetic and environmental factors at play, it can be challenging to cure it, if not impossible at this point. However, it is definitely possible to reduce the symptoms and treat them so that you can suffer less in your day-to-day life. That’s why we recommend taking a joint supplement like JointFuel360 to manage and treat the symptoms of this condition.