Arthritis is a group of diseases that makes your joints hurt, swell up, and turn red. There are many different types of arthritis.
What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis typically causes red bumps or patches covered with silvery, shiny scales. Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease that causes raised, red patches on your skin. The raised... read more is a skin condition causing flare-ups of red, scaly rashes and thickened, pitted nails.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint, but it usually develops in the spine, hands, and feet
Doctors look at your symptoms to tell if you have psoriatic arthritis
Medicines can sometimes help
What causes psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis happens when your body's immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more (organs and cells that fight infection) attacks your joints and tissues around them. Doctors don’t know exactly why this happens.
You're more likely to get psoriatic arthritis if someone in your family has it.
What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
You may have one or more of the following:
Joints at the tips of your fingers and toes become inflamed (swollen, red, and warm)
Pain in the back of the ankle ( Achilles tendinitis Achilles Tendinitis Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the tough band of tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel. (See also Overview of Sports Injuries.) Achilles tendinitis is very... read more ) or sole of the foot ( plantar fasciitis Plantar Fasciitis Plantar means something on your foot. Fascia is one of the kinds of tissue that connect different body parts (called connective tissue). So the plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects... read more )
Pain in your hips and knees
Joints that are inflamed for a long time may become deformed
Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis typically causes red bumps or patches covered with silvery, shiny scales. Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease that causes raised, red patches on your skin. The raised... read more causes a rash. The rash may appear before or after you have joint pain. You may not notice the rash if it's hidden in your scalp, navel, or creases of your skin. The skin and joint symptoms sometimes appear and disappear together, but often either the skin or the joint symptoms are worse than the other.
How can doctors tell if I have psoriatic arthritis?
Doctors can tell if you have psoriatic arthritis based on your symptoms and family history and by doing an exam. They will also do tests:
Blood tests to rule out other types of arthritis
Sometimes tests to look at joint fluid, if the joint is swollen
How do doctors treat psoriatic arthritis?
Doctors will prescribe medicines to control the rash and lessen the swelling in your joints. Medicines that can help psoriatic arthritis include:
Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by mouth or creams that can be rubbed on the skin over painful joints
Injections of corticosteroids into the joint
Injections of medicines that keep the immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more from attacking the joints and also help clear up the psoriasis rash
Doctors may prescribe physical therapy Physical Therapy (PT) Physical therapy, a component of rehabilitation, involves exercising and manipulating the body with an emphasis on the back, upper arms, and legs. It can improve joint and muscle function, helping... read more and exercises to help keep your joints moving.
When other treatments don't work, doctors may suggest surgery to replace a badly damaged joint with an artificial one.