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What is Psoriatic Arthritis? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Do you have unbearable pain in joints along with red skin patches all over the body? If yes, then you might have psoriatic arthritis. 

If you’re already diagnosed or suspect psoriatic arthritis then it’s extremely important to know all about this degenerative illness—that has no cure. 

But the good news is that with proper treatment and care, you can manage your symptoms, reduce pain, protect your joints, and move normally. 

That’s why you should know all about psoriatic arthritis to seek proper treatment and function normally. 

This article will cover all the important points related to psoriatic arthritis along with some proven alternative treatments that can treat your illness without any medicines and invasive methods. 

So, let’s dive in right now.  

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

To understand psoriatic arthritis, we first need to understand Psoriasis—a skin condition that causes red patches on the skin. 

Almost 30% of patients suffering from psoriasis experience joint degeneration that can result in a specific form of arthritis called Psoriatic Arthritis. 

Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in your body—from fingers to hands, hips, knees, and toes. It also affects the attachment of ligaments and tendons, causing damage to bones as well. 

So what is psoriatic arthritis? Psoriatic arthritis is pretty much like rheumatoid arthritis but has some symptoms unique to it. 

It can be caused at any age, usually, after the symptoms of psoriasis appear. But sometimes psoriatic arthritis symptoms appear even before the appearance of red patches. In rare cases, psoriasis doesn’t even develop. 

Let’s know more about psoriatic arthritis to better understand it and choose a treatment line that can give you maximum benefit. 

What are the 5 types of Psoriatic Arthritis? 

There are mainly 5 psoriatic arthritis types. The classification is based on the area of the body that’s affected the most. 

The names seem complex as they are scientific terms but we’ll explain them in simple words so that you can understand them better. 

Distal interphalangeal predominant 

Distal interphalangeal joints are near the nails. When these joints are affected, arthritis is caused in the tips of fingers and toes. This causes changes in the nail colour as well. 

Asymmetric oligoarticular 

Any joints on each side of the body can get affected by asymmetric arthritis (as the name indicates). 

Symmetric polyarthritis 

Same joints in each side of the body are affected as it’s “symmetric” arthritis. The symptoms vary from moderate to severe.

Spondylitis 

The joints of the back are mainly affected by this type of psoriatic arthritis. The pain and inflammation can get worse over time, making it difficult to move around. It can also affect arms and legs. 

Arthritis mutilans 

Fewer than 5% of patients are affected by this most severe form of psoriatic arthritis. 

The joints of hands and feet are affected severely, causing bone erosion and damage. The bone loss causes changes in the bone structure, resulting in the shortening of the organs. 

It makes it impossible for the patient to move around and use their hands and feet normally. 

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis 

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis. But there are a few different symptoms that help diagnose the illness. 

Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic diseases—the symptoms get worse over time, if not managed and treated properly. 

In between the days when you experience severe symptoms, you might feel completely alright. This is the period of remission when the symptoms disappear. But this doesn’t mean that the joint degeneration has been stopped as the illness comes back again. 

The symptoms that make psoriatic arthritis different from rheumatoid arthritis are: 

Swollen fingers and toes

The joints of fingers and toes become so inflamed that they look like sausages. 

This swelling and continuous damage to joints can, later on, cause deformities in the bone structure as well. 

Backache 

Psoriatic arthritis can also cause pain in the back due to inflamed joints between the vertebrae of the spine. This condition can lead to Spondylitis. 

Want a safe and effective treatment for Spondylitis? Check out how laser pain therapy helps treat spondylitis at BioFlex, here. 

Pain in the feet 

The joints in the back of the heels and sole can also get affected, causing severe pain in the feet. 

Psoriatic arthritis causes

Psoriatic arthritis is caused by the abnormal functioning of your immune system. The immune system starts targeting normal, healthy cells, and this damages the joints of your body. The immune system also overproduces the skin cells, forming rashes. 

Why does the immune system act abnormal? There can be many reasons including environmental and genetic problems. 

Psoriatic arthritis risk factors include

  • Psoriasis 
  • Age. Although anyone can get affected by psoriatic arthritis, it mostly flares up between the age of 30 to 50. 
  • Genetic factors. Family history is also considered as a person is suspected to have psoriatic arthritis if their family member has it
  • Physical trauma and injury
  • Infection by virus or bacteria can also trigger psoriatic arthritis 

How to diagnose psoriatic arthritis? 

The diagnosis begins with the physical examination of the patient. Your doctor will examine your joints closely to see inflammation and pain. 

Your fingers and toes will also be checked to see if you can move them in every possible direction. This examination is done to rule out the deformities caused by psoriatic arthritis. 

The doctor will also check your feet, especially heels and soles to see if they’re inflamed. 

No particular test can pinpoint psoriatic arthritis but the doctor might ask you to get an X-ray or MRI to rule out other bones and joints diseases. 

Psoriatic Arthritis treatment options 

When you’re diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, you should see proper treatment IMMEDIATELY. Getting proper treatment, including therapies and home remedies, can help manage the illness in a better way. 

Let’s look into the treatment options you have with psoriatic arthritis.  

Traditional treatment options

The first line of traditional treatment includes the use of painkillers and muscle relaxants. Your doctor might prescribe NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that can relieve your pain. But the relief wouldn’t be for long. 

If oral medication doesn’t work, your doctor will go for corticosteroid injections that quickly relieve the pain. 

The medicines and injections just help with the pain. They don’t stop or slow down the joint degeneration—that’s the root cause of psoriatic arthritis. 

Surgery is the last option if pain and degeneration become severe. The deformities don’t allow a patient to even perform daily tasks. Joint replacement surgery includes the removal of worn joints and is replaced by prostheses. 

Alternative treatment 

If your symptoms have just started appearing or are moderate then you should try a non-invasive, alternative treatment that can help you live a normal life even with psoriatic arthritis. 

Let’s look into this famous, advanced, and safe therapy that can stop joint degeneration and relieve pain effectively:

Laser Therapy 

Laser therapy is a proven non-invasive procedure that helps reduce or even stop the symptoms of neuromuscular disorders. 

So, laser therapy can effectively treat psoriatic arthritis as well. The procedure is performed using a modern handheld device by a doctor. It takes a few sessions to feel the difference. You won’t need any medicines along with the treatment. 

If you wish to have the best laser pain therapy treatment in Pakistan then opt for BioFlex Pakistan. We have a team of qualified and experienced rheumatologists, modern equipment, and lots of testimonials. Our clinics are conveniently located in Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi & Karachi.

Click here to know more about how we treat psoriatic arthritis or book your appointment.  

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment at Home

Let’s see how you can cope with the pain and inflammation of joints due to psoriatic arthritis.

Note that you should follow a homecare regimen along with the treatment to manage the illness in a better way. 

According to Healthline, there are 6 home remedies that you can easily follow: 

  • Practice low-impact exercises, at least once a day. Yoga and walking will help you lift your mood and feel good as well. 
  • Take a healthy diet. Using lots of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids can help cope with inflammation. 
  • Take rest when you feel tired. Don’t overdo any activity. 
  • Massage essential oils on your joints to relieve pain, stiffness, and also feel relaxed. You can mix a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil and massage it daily. 
  • Practice mindfulness meditation to remain focused and relaxed. 
  • Use devices that make your life easier. Keep your posture straight. Use smartphone holders and device holders to avoid holding the devices for long. 

How to prevent psoriatic arthritis? 

If your loved ones have psoriatic arthritis, or you have faced some physical trauma then you’re probably at risk of developing the illness yourself. 

Following are a few preventive measures that can help you keep this chronic disease at bay:

  • Keep a close eye on what you eat daily. Cut out on sugars and dairy products. Take lots of food that is rich in antioxidants. 
  • Exercise daily to relax your muscles and joints. 
  • Know the triggers and keep a check on the symptoms. 
  • If you experience red patches on skin or pain in joints, immediately consult the doctor to start treatment as early as possible. 

The Bottom Line 

Psoriatic arthritis is a painful chronic illness that can lead to deformities of fingers and toes if left untreated. 

If you or your loved one is suffering from this horrific illness or have symptoms then read the article above. You’ll know all about psoriatic arthritis and possible treatment options that can help manage the illness in a better way. 

With proper treatment and care, you can live a normal life even with psoriatic arthritis.

Call BioFlex Pakistan now at 0800-LASER (52737) or fill out the form below to start your journey to improving your psoriatic arthritis with laser therapy.

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