Treatment For Psoriatic Arthritis

People who have psoriasis- development of red patches on the skin together with a silvery scaly appearance may also develop arthritis. The combination of these two conditions is referred to as Psoriatic Arthritis. Although the joint inflammation may develop before the skin is affected but the presence of Arthritis may be detected much later than Psoriasis.

Psoriatic Arthritis may affect any part of the body from the hands, fingertips, spine, legs etc. the condition tends to flare up at certain times and then subsides. It is a progressive disorder. Although there is no permanent cure for Psoriatic Arthritis, measures can be taken to curb and manage the symptoms. Lack of treatment may result in physical disability besides increasing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.

Causes

  • Attacking of the healthy cells by the body’s immune system
  • Faulty immune system results in excessive production of skin cells leading to inflammation
  • Genetic factors
  • Physical trauma to the joint or a skin injury
  • Joint infections
  • It generally affects adults in the age group of 30-50 years
  • Smoking, emotional stress, alcohol, hormonal imbalance may aggravate the Psoriasis and lead to Psoriatic Arthritis

Symptoms

The symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis may vary from being mild to severe as the condition progresses. These may include the following.

  • Stiffness in the affected joint
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • One or both the sides of the body may be affected
  • The skin around the inflamed joint is warm to touch
  • Deformed hands or feet
  • Pain at the points where the tendons and ligaments are connected to the bones
  • Development of Spondylitis in the lower back
  • Visibly deformed fingers or toes
  • Inflammation and redness in the eyes

Diagnosis

  • Detailed physical examination of the affected joint to check for swelling, pain and inflammation
  • Palpation to check for tenderness
  • X-ray imaging to assess changes in the joint structure
  • MRI and CT scan to check the condition of tendons and ligaments
  • A syringe may be inserted into the joint to draw out joint fluid. It is then tested for the presence of uric acid crystals
  • Rheumatoid factor (RF) test may be done to rule out the chances of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Treatment

  • Prescription of anti inflammatory medicines and pain killers
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be prescribed to arrest the progression of the disease
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors may be administered to reduce stiffness and pain
  • Prescription of immunosuppressant to slow down the immune system to prevent its attack of the healthy tissues
  • Injecting steroids into the joint gives a lot of relief
  • Surgical removal of severely damaged joints and these may be replaced by artificial joint parts or prostheses
  • Light exercise to keep the joint flexible
  • Application of hot and cold packs to reduce pain and swelling

Consult the doctors at OrthoTexas for diagnosis and treatment of various joint problems. For an appointment, call at(972) 727 – 9995 or visit 7300 Eldorado Parkway, Suites 165/165A, McKinney, TX 75070.

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