Suffering From
Psoriasis Arthritis?

Psoriasis arthritis is an uncommon condition. If you happen to be one of the few suffering from this disease, finding help is what you need. Learn what you can do to help reduce your arthritis symptoms and maintain your function.

What is Psoriasis Arthritis?

Just as it sounds, this condition affects those diagnosed with both psoriasis and arthritis. Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by a raised rash. Psoriasis commonly affects the tips of the elbows and knees, the scalp, and hands. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It is diagnosed in only approximately 15% of those diagnosed with psoriasis. The condition itself is classified as an autoimmune disease thus making it similar to rheumatoid arthritis.

Typical Symptoms

Similar to other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms can vary from person to person. The condition of psoriasis most often precedes the symptoms of arthritis. Joint inflammation and swelling can occur in any joint of the body. It frequently affects large joints, distal joints of the fingers and toes, and joints of the spine including the sacroiliac joints.

psoriasis arthritis

Swelling and tenderness can also occur where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone such as with the Achilles tendon. Symptoms more commonly begin between the ages of 30 and 50 and occur equally in both women and men. Swelling, stiffness, reduced joint mobility, and pain are the most common complaints.

Typical Treatment

The focus of most treatment protocols is reducing inflammation via anti-inflammatory medication. Medications can include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) drugs to reduce inflammation, disease modifying agents (DMARDs) to help prevent joint damage, and other biologic medications if traditional therapies are not effective.

Physical Therapy Exercise

As with many arthritic conditions, maintaining joint mobility and strength is necessary to maintain function. If you have psoriasis arthritis, what can you do to help maintain your function?

• Maintain range of motion of leg joints with the use of a stationary bike 10-15 minutes a few times a week.

• Incorporate a light walking program into your routine to work weight bearing muscles.

• When flare ups occur, chose water exercise to reduce joint impact.

• Spend 15 minutes a day performing light stretching exercises. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and avoid bouncing when stretching.

• Use light strengthening exercises to maintain muscle strength that will help to protect joints.

• Wear supportive shoes while walking to help minimize joint stress.

• Utilize ice therapy to reduce pain and swelling of the effected joints.

• Maintain a healthy weight at increased weight causes undo stress on the body.

Psoriasis Arthritis does not have to lead to a significant loss of function. Implement these recommendations and take back control of your lifestyle. If you are not a regular exerciser, consult a physical therapist to help you develop a program that you can follow to help maintain your function.

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