Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. The condition develops among individuals with psoriasis which is characterized by silver-colored scales on red-colored patches on the skin that form on the feet, ankles, hands, elbows, knees and other parts of the body.
Psoriatic arthritis often forms on any part of the body and might even include the spine and fingertips. It develops in a gradual manner from mild to severe.
The indications of psoriatic arthritis vary from one individual to another. The onset might be abrupt in some instance while others have a steady gradual onset. The usual indications include the following:
- Discomfort and throbbing in one or several joints
- Swelling and tenderness
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Diminished range of motion in the joints
- Stiffness and fatigue in the morning
- Eye inflammation
- Silver or gray scaly spots on the lower spine, knees, scalp or elbows
- Nail pitting
- Sausage-like appearance due to the swelling of the small-sized joints around the nails
- Pain and tenderness where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bone
- Detachment of the toenails or fingernails
The treatment for psoriatic arthritis is aimed on alleviating the symptoms and improving the function of the affected joints. Various treatment options are usually tried to determine which one works best. The treatment includes medications, physical therapy and surgery which is based on the condition of the individual.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Immunosuppressant medications
- TNF-alpha inhibitors