Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis which will affect some persons who are suffering from psoriasis. This is a condition that features red patches in the skin along with silvery scales. A good number of people will develop psoriasis first and then will be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis later on. However, the joint problems will at times start before the appearance of skin lesions.
The main symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are stiffness, swelling and joint pain. They will affect any area of your body which will include the spine and the fingertips and will range from being relatively mild to severe form. With psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the disease will flare up and will have alternate periods of remission. So far, there is no cure for yet for psoriatic arthritis. The focus of treatment will be in controlling the symptoms and for the prevention of joint damage. If psoriatic arthritis is not treated, this can be disabling.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic diseases which will become worse after a while. But you will have periods where your symptoms will improve and there will also be times when you experience remissions alternated by times when the symptoms will become worse.
Psoriatic arthritis will affect joints in only one side or in both sides of the body. The signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis will frequently resemble the indications of rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these diseases will result to joints which are swollen, warm to touch and painful.
But psoriatic arthritis will also result to:
Fingers and toes which are swollen. Psoriatic arthritis will cause painful and sausage-like swelling of both the fingers and toes. You could also develop deformities and swelling of the hands and feet before you can have significant symptoms in the joint.
Pain in the foot. Psoriatic arthritis will also result to pain at the points where the tendons and ligaments are attached to the bones. This is especially present at the back of the heel or the Achilles tendon area or on the sole of the foot. Affectation on the back of the heel will result to Achilles tendinitis and for the sole of the foot, it will cause plantar fasciitis.
Pain in the lower back. Several people will develop the condition termed as spondylitis which is a result of psoriatic arthritis. The main causes of spondylitis will be inflammation of the joints located between the vertebrae of the spine and also in the joints in between the spine as well as the pelvis. The latter is also called sacroiliitis.
Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can occur if the immune system of your body will start to attack the healthy cells and tissue. The abnormal response of the immune system will cause inflammation in the joints and also excessive production of skin cells.
It is not completely clear why the immune system will turn against the healthy tissue. However, it seems possible that both environmental and genetic factors will have significant roles. Lots of people who are suffering from psoriatic arthritis have family history of either psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis. Researchers have found out that some genetic markers appear to be associated with psoriatic arthritis.
Trauma experienced physically or something in the environment like viral or bacterial infection can set off psoriatic arthritis in persons with inherited tendencies.