Psoriatic arthritis treatment

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What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease caused by the body attacking healthy tissue. The condition can affect many different parts of the body, including skin, nails, joints and entheses, which are places in the body where ligaments attach to bones. Psoriatic arthritis affects men and women equally. The condition can occur in children but typically manifests itself in patients over the age of 30.

 

The causes of psoriatic arthritis are unknown, although it tends to run in families, and it affects people of European descent more frequently than people of other backgrounds. It is sometimes described as feeling like having two separate conditions - psoriasis and arthritis.

Symptoms and causes

Psoriatic arthritis can result in itchy or painful rashes in various places on the body, including most commonly the scalp, knees and elbows. These rashes may be red and painful, or they may appear white due to an accumulation of dead skin. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause swollen fingers or toes and cracked nails.

 

Any joint in the body can be affected; the most commonly affected ones are fingers, wrists, ankles and knees. Many patients with psoriatic arthritis experience morning stiffness. The entheses in the body can also be affected and can become inflamed. Patients with psoriatic arthritis often have a low-grade fever and fatigue during a flare, a period that can last from days to months.

Both over the counter and prescription drugs are used to treat psoriatic arthritis, and certain physical therapies and regular exercise can also help reduce symptoms. A combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids can be used; stronger drugs such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may also be prescribed.

 

These come in pill, injection and infusion form. Skin should be kept moisturized and soaking in bath salts or oatmeal may help relieve symptoms. Focusing on eating a healthy diet, high in anti-inflammatory foods and fresh fruits and vegetables, and reducing stress can also keep symptoms in check. Patients are encouraged to use fragrance-free laundry detergent and wear clothing made from natural fibers.

Treating psoriatic arthritis

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FAQs about psoriatic arthritis

How fast does remicade work for psoriatic arthritis?


Remicade is a medication to treat adults with active psoriatic arthritis. Only medical doctors can recommend and prescribe Remicade after a thorough examination of your health condition. It’s not a blanket medication for everyone as treatment results vary from person to person. While there are side-effects that can cause your system to have a reduced response in fighting infections, some patients showed signs of symptom relief from joint pain, stiffness, and swelling from psoriatic arthritis in under two weeks. When taken to improve skin symptoms like plaque thickness, scaling, and redness, Remicade has shown results within 14 weeks.




Is apple cider vinegar good for psoriatic arthritis?


Some believe that apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that could relieve the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis that affect people with psoriasis. But joint problems can occur before visible skin patches appear. Pharmaceuticals tend to be effective, but many people look for alternatives to relieve symptoms, like apple cider vinegar. Some claim that drinking a small amount of diluted apple cider vinegar is effective because the vinegar contains pectin that supposedly absorbs toxins that contribute to the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. However, there is not sufficient medical research and evidence to support that apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment.




Will psoriatic arthritis cripple me?


Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) affects people differently from having mild to severe symptoms. The severe cases can worse over time leading to permanent joint damage and disfigurement, but this is rare. Fortunately, modern treatments show positive results in stopping or slowing down the progression and the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to apply effective treatment and reduce the risk of future complications. While psoriatic arthritis doesn’t directly affect life expectancy, it can increase the risk of other life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular disease. Effective treatments are available to improve the management and outlook for psoriatic arthritis sufferers.




Can psoriatic arthritis cause sciatica?


Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) starts developing in larger joints like the hands and feet, but it can spread to affect the spine, resulting in back and pelvic pain. When PsA affects the spine, it’s medically diagnosed as axial arthritis affecting the spine, shoulders, and hips. As it can cause inflammation and pain of the spine, complications can develop over time. While sciatica is caused by a herniated disc pressing on a spinal nerve, psoriatic arthritis can cause psoriatic spondylitis or sacroiliitis where inflammation occurs in the joints between the vertebrae. This is results in lower back pain and limited mobility.




Can you get psoriatic arthritis in your neck?


Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis range from joint pain, pitted nails, and red, scaly rashes and often affects people with psoriasis. However, there are a range of physical and emotional effects caused by PsA, which includes the neck. The cervical spine can be affected by pain and stiffness but rarely damages the vertebrae in your neck. Symptoms vary in individuals such as stiffness in the neck, not being able to turn your head without pain, and frequent and severe headaches, usually in the lower skull area. Headaches could become the dominant symptom and override existing neck pain or stiffness.





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