Psoriatic Arthritis

Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center

Rheumatology & Metabolic Bone Disease & Osteoporosis Specialists located in Wyomissing, PA

Psoriatic arthritis develops in patients who have psoriasis and can be seen in patients with a strong family history of psoriasis. It’s important to schedule an appointment at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center as soon as you develop symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. When the condition goes untreated, you can end up with disfiguring joint damage. To learn more about psoriatic arthritis, call the office in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

Psoriatic Arthritis Q & A

 

What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs in about 30% of patients who have psoriasis. In most patients, psoriasis is diagnosed years before arthritis develops, but it’s also possible for arthritis to be diagnosed before symptoms of psoriasis appear.

This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease that develops when the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the joints.

The small joints at the tips of your fingers and toes are most often affected. However, psoriatic arthritis can develop in any small or large joints, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. If the inflammation goes untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage.

 

What symptoms develop due to psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis may affect one joint or multiple joints, with symptoms typically appearing between the ages of 30-50. Over the years, you’ll experience times when your symptoms flare alternating with periods of remission. The most common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness
  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Psoriatic changes in fingernails and toenails
  • Lower back pain due to inflamed spinal joints
  • Pain at the back of your heel or in the sole of your foot
  • Eye problems, such as conjunctivitis and uveitis

Psoriatic arthritis often causes inflammation and pain where tendons attach to bones in your knees, elbows, feet, and spine.

 

How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed?

Your provider confirms if you have psoriatic arthritis by looking at your medical history as well as performing an exam, X-rays, and labs. 

Differentiating patients with psoriasis and degenerative arthritis versus those with psoriatic arthritis is among the special skill sets that the rheumatologists at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center have.

 

How is psoriatic arthritis treated?

Your treatment focuses on reducing the inflammation and preventing permanent joint damage. Depending on the severity of your disease, you may need a combination of exercise, heat and cold therapy, and joint protection. 

Effective treatments are available for skin and joint inflammation. The team at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center may prescribe one or more medications, such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to protect your joints by slowing the progression of psoriatic arthritis
  • Immunosuppressants to slow down immune system activity and prevent further inflammation and damage
  • Biologic medications are medications that influence inflammation but limiting the expression of cell signaling pathways. There are many types of biologics for psoriatic arthritis, each influences inflammation using a unique pathway.  

Your provider at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center may also recommend a joint injection. Using real-time ultrasound imaging to guide needle placement, they can precisely inject anti-inflammatory medications like steroids into the joint.

If you’re not currently under the care of a dermatologist, Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center can make a referral and coordinate with your skin care specialist. Aggressively treating your psoriasis may also help manage your psoriatic arthritis.

To get the help you need for psoriatic arthritis, call Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center.