Psoriatic Arthritis - Medx Health Assistance
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Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is a disease that combines the sore, swollen joints of Arthritis with Psoriasis. It is a form of Arthritis that affects some people with Psoriasis (a condition that highlights red patches of skin coated with silvery scales). There is no permanent cure for Psoriatic Arthritis, so the main focus is on controlling symptoms and preventing damage to the joints. 
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Overview

  • Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is a disease that combines the sore, swollen joints of Arthritis with Psoriasis. 
  • It is a form of Arthritis that affects some people with Psoriasis (a condition that highlights red patches of skin coated with silvery scales). 
  • In most people, Psoriasis develop first and are later diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, but joint problems can sometimes occur before skin patches appear.
  • Stiffness, Joint Pain, and Swelling are the main signs and symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis. 
  • Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) can affect any part of the body, including the fingertips and spine, ranging from relatively mild to severe. 
  • In both Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, disease flashes may alternate with periods of remission.
  • There is no permanent cure for Psoriatic Arthritis, so the main focus is on controlling symptoms and preventing damage to the joints. 
  • Without treatment, Psoriatic Arthritis may be disabling.

Types of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) are as follows:

Symmetric PsA:

This type of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) affects the same joints on both sides of the body, so both the right and left knees. Symptoms can be similar to those of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
Symmetric PsA tends to be milder and cause less joint deformity than RA. However, symmetric PsA can be disabling. About half of people with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) have Symmetric PsA.

Asymmetric PsA:

Asymmetric PsA affects a joint or joints on one side of the body. The joints may feel sore and turn red. Asymmetric PsA is generally mild. It affects about 35% of people with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA).

Distal Interphalangeal Predominant PsA:

This type involves the joints closest to the nails. These are known as the distal joints. It occurs in about 10% of people with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA).

Spondylitis PsA:

This type of PsA involves the spine. The intact spine from the neck to the lower back may be affected. Spondylitis PsA can make movement very painful. The hands, feet, legs, arms, and hips may also be affected.

Psoriatic Arthritis Mutilans:

Psoriatic Arthritis Mutilans is a severe, deforming type of PsA. About 5% of people with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) have this type. Psoriatic Arthritis Mutilans usually affects the hands and feet. It can also cause pain in the neck and lower back.

Symptoms

Both Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) and Psoriasis are chronic diseases that get worse over time. Still, the patient may have periods when the symptoms improve or go into remission, alternating with times when symptoms become worse.

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) can affect joints on just one side or both sides of the body. 

The symptoms and signs of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) often resemble those of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both diseases cause joints to become swollen, stiff, painful, and warm to the touch.

Psoriatic Arthritis is more likely also to cause:

  • Swollen Fingers and Toes: Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) can cause painful, sausage-like swelling of the fingers and toes. The patient may also develop swelling and deformities in the hands and feet before having significant joint symptoms. 
  • Foot Pain: Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) can also cause pain at the points where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones, especially at the back of the heel (Achilles Tendinitis) or in the sole (Plantar Fasciitis).
  • Stiff Joints: Stiffness in joints are common in Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). They are typically worse early in the morning.
  • Enthesitis: A patient with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) can get inflammation where a muscle connects to a bone (such as the Achilles tendon behind the heel). It might hurt while walking and climbing stairs.
  • Lower Back Pain: It happens when some people develop a condition called Spondylitis due to Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). Spondylitis mainly causes inflammation in the joints between the vertebrae of the spine and in the joints between the spine and pelvis (Sacroiliitis).
  • Nail Pitting: Most people with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) see tiny dents, called pitting, and ridges in the nails.
  • Nail Separation: In some Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), the entire nail pulls away from the nail bed. The separated might be opaque with a yellow, white, or green tint. This condition is known as Onycholysis.
  • Chest and Rib Pain: Chest and Shortness of Breath does not happen often but can be symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). Chest and Rib Pain might occur when the chest wall and the cartilage that links the ribs to the breastbone get inflamed. It is also rare, but the lungs or the aorta (the large blood vessel that leaves the heart) could be affected.
  • Fatigue: Both the inflammation process and medications patients take for Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) can leave them feeling tired and mentally drained. 

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. It is necessary not to ignore the signs and symptoms, even if they come and go. Knowing the early signs of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) will help patients get better treatment and manage it on time.

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