Flare Warning: Eye Problems
Although its not a common symptom, some psoriatic arthritis patients report vision problems at the onset of a flare. An eye condition called anterior uveitis is found in 7% of patients who have psoriatic arthritis, says Brian Toy, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA. Your eye doctor will know you have this eye issue by an increase in inflammation around the iris in the middle layer of the eye wall. If your eyes are affected by PsA, its important to consult an eye doctor as well as your rheumatologist.
Dont Say: You Should Try Yoga
In addition to their vociferous diet opinions, the peanut gallery has too many opinions about how people with RA should get exercise. A very common misconception is that yoga would be good for all people with rheumatoid arthritis, because of the stretching. This may be true for some, but not others.
When Jennifer, 44, was diagnosed three years ago, everyone was always telling me I should do yoga, despite the fact that her wrists were tender and sore. No, I shouldnt. Putting all of my weight on my inflamed joints is not helpful, shed reply. Theyd say, You need to strengthen your wrists. To which she would respond, No, I dont. I have a disease thats in my blood and attacks my joints. I dont have weak joints!
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What Are The Criteria For Psoriatic Arthritis To Be Counted As A Disability
To have psoriatic arthritis officially recognized as a disability, you must meet specific criteria set forth by the government. In the United States, the Social Security Administration is responsible for determining whether an individual meets the requirements for disability benefits.
To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance , you must have:
- Worked enough years to earn enough work credits. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you need 40 credits with 20 earned in the last ten years.
- Your psoriatic arthritis diagnosis must meet or equal a listing in the SSAs Blue Book of disabling conditions. The Blue Book contains detailed descriptions of over 200 disabling medical conditions that automatically qualify an individual for SSDI benefits.
- If your psoriatic arthritis does not meet or equal a listing in the Blue Book. You may still be eligible for benefits if your condition prevents you from doing substantial gainful activity . To determine if your psoriatic arthritis meets this criterion, the SSA will consider your age, past work experience, education, and residual functional capacity . Your RFC is a measure of the most you can still do despite your limitations.
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How Long Can You Live With Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is not life-threatening, but affected patients do have a reduced life expectancy of around three years compared to people without the condition. The main cause of death appears to be respiratory and cardiovascular causes. However, treatment can substantially help improve the long-term prognosis.
Considering this, How do I know if my psoriatic arthritis is getting worse? Nail pitting or fingernail changes can be an indication that you have worsening PsA, says Dr. Schulman. This can happen even if you only have skin involvement or only have joint involvement. In addition to pitting, Dr.
How long does it take to become disabled with psoriatic arthritis? Qualifying for disability benefits
You can apply as soon as PsA makes it difficult or impossible to perform a job. While theres no requirement for you to have a disability for a certain amount of time before you apply, you will need to show that PsA will prevent you from working for at least 12 months.
Furthermore, Can psoriatic arthritis cripple you? It usually affects the joints of the knees, fingers, toes, ankles and lower back. If left untreated, a severe form of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may set in. The condition can affect your joints so badly that it can cripple you and lead to disability.
As Can The Words Youre Too Young To Have Arthritis
When you say the word arthritis, every older person you meet has it, too, Dishner says. While well-meaning people may sympathize by comparing their own ailment with yours, psoriatic arthritis is a much different form of arthritis and does not develop because of aging. It can occur at any age but typically begins to cause symptoms among those between 30 and 50 years old, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation . Its not the job of someone who has psoriatic arthritis to educate others on their particular disease and set of symptoms. Be sure to do your own research to be the best possible ally.
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Is Psoriatic Arthritis Worse Than Rheumatoid Arthritis
Even so, the pain and discomfort associated with psoriatic arthritis can be significant. A study published in 2015 in the journal PLoS One found that the overall pain, joint pain, and fatigue reported by psoriatic arthritis patients was significantly greater than that reported by people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Does psoriatic arthritis get worse at night? People with psoriatic arthritis tend to have more trouble with sleep, and that can make their symptoms worse. You should have a nightly ritual that checks all the usual boxes for good sleep. Then take steps to manage the top sleep robbers linked to psoriatic arthritis: pain, itch, and stress.
Is psoriatic arthritis worse than rheumatoid?
A study published in 2015 in the journal PLoS One found that the overall pain, joint pain, and fatigue reported by psoriatic arthritis patients was significantly greater than that reported by people with rheumatoid arthritis.
What does psoriatic arthritis pain feel like? Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Psoriatic arthritis pain is described as worse in the morning or after resting, tender, throbbing, warm to the touch, and exhausting. It primarily affects the knees and ankles, but can also occur in the neck, lower back, hips, shoulders, heels, and feet.
Symptoms Of Ra Progression
The attack from your immune system can affect more than your synovial tissue. RA can also damage the ligaments and tendons that hold your joints together. You may also experience inflammation in your lungs.
Some people develop firm lumps under the skin of their:
These lumps are called rheumatoid nodules. Theyre usually found on pressure points throughout the body.
Many people with RA experience flare-ups, or episodes when symptoms worsen. Lifestyle modification and medication can sometimes help reduce these flare-ups.
Some people who have RA also develop depression. You should talk to your doctor if you think youve developed depression. Antidepressant medications, exercise, and support groups may help you manage the symptoms.
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Five Types Of Psoriatic Arthritis
- Symmetric arthritis: This is the most common type of psoriatic arthritis, affecting around 50% of people with the condition. It causes pain and stiffness in joints on both sides of the body, often in the hands, wrists, or feet. The symptoms come and go and can be mild or severe.
- Asymmetric arthritis: This type affects about 30% of people with psoriatic arthritis. It usually causes pain and stiffness in just a few joints, most often in the wrists, knees, ankles, or elbows. The symptoms are generally milder than with symmetric arthritis.
- Distal interphalangeal predominant : This type is the least common, affecting around 10% of people with psoriatic arthritis. It usually affects the joints at the ends of the fingers or toes , which can become swollen and painful. The symptoms may be mild or severe.
- Spondyloarthropathies: This type includes conditions that affect the spine and other joints. They include ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, and enteropathic arthritis. Around 5-10% of people with psoriatic arthritis have one of these conditions.
- Arthritis mutilans: This is a rare and severe psoriatic arthritis that affects the hands and feet. It can cause the fingers and toes to become shortened and deformed. Arthritis mutilans is a progressive condition, which means it gradually gets worse over time.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Pregnancy
Heres what you should know if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant and breastfeed.
Planning to have a baby is a major milestone in a womans life. Some questions are universal will I have severe morning sickness? Should I have natural childbirth or get an epidural? Will I use cloth diapers or disposables? But if you have rheumatoid arthritis you probably have some unique ones will my disease or medication affect my babys development? Will my symptoms worsen during pregnancy? Will arthritis affect my delivery? Will I be physically able to care for my new baby?
In most cases, the answer to these questions can be quite reassuring, says Mehret Birru Talabi, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the University of Pittsburghs Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology.
Heres what you should know about common concerns when youre thinking about having a baby, during pregnancy and after the delivery.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pregnancy
Pregnancy: The Whole Nine Months
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Alcohol And Cigarette Smoke
Both alcohol and smoking can worsen PsA and psoriasis symptoms. Quitting smoking may help to clear skin and improve overall health.
Alcohol can also interfere with the effectiveness of medications for treating PsA. One study in the International Journal of Dermatology confirmed that alcohol can intensify psoriasis symptoms. This study also found an increase in alcohol-related deaths in people with psoriasis as compared to those without the condition.
Stop Ignoring Your Physical Limitations
Just as there are people with arthritis who aren’t active at all, there are those who push beyond their limits. The trick is to pace your activities. Overdoing it is just as harmful as underdoing it.
Pushing your limits can increase pain and put you at higher risk of joint damage. Respect pain and choose activities with your physical limitations in mind.
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Is Psa Always Considered A Disability
No, not all diagnoses of psoriatic arthritis are considered a disability. However, some people with psoriatic arthritis may have difficulty performing specific activities of daily living or working and, as a result, may be considered disabled.
The Social Security Administration evaluates each persons case individually to determine if they meet the SSAs definition of disability. Generally, to be considered disabled by the SSA, a person must:
- Be unable to work due to their medical condition and
- Have a medical situation that is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
If you think you qualify for Social Security disability benefits because of your psoriatic arthritis, you should contact the SSA to discuss your case.
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Your Lifestyle Is More Sedentary And Youre Moving Less
Regular physical activity is necessary for everyone but especially for people with RA.Research has shown that regular cardiovascular exercise and weight training can substantially improve daily function without exacerbating rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. There are numerous health benefits associated with regular physical activity like improved muscle strength and better bone and joint health which all help your aches and pains feel better. But rest is also needed to restore the body from the bouts of intense pain and fatigue that are characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis. But you cant let taking it easy become a way of life. A sedentary lifestyle may eventually lead to increased pain, fatigue, and weakness, and a lower quality of life.
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Regular exercise also has another life-enhancing benefit: It helps reduce your odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Taking good care of your ticker is essential for people with rheumatoid arthritis, because heart problems are more prevalent in people who have RA compared with the general population. Its heart disease that kills you, not the RA, says Domingues. Its very important to talk to your primary care doctor or a cardiologist if you have RA to control your risk factors, such as high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.
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How Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Prevents Disease Progression
The primary way to slow the progression of PsA is through medications that modify the immune system. It may take trial and error to find the treatment that works best for a given patient, notes Dr. Haberman. While we have a lot of medication options for PsA, we dont know which ones a patient will respond to, so sometimes we need to try more than one medication to find the one thats right for that patient, she says.
In addition, medications that have been effective for you can stop working over time. If this happens, your doctor may recommend a medication that works differently say, targets a different part of the immune system to control disease activity.
There are many drugs used to treat PsA. The ones that you will use will depend on the type and severity of symptoms as well as the most problematic areas .
Medications use to treat PsA include:
Can You Get Disability For Arthritis In The Spine
If you have a spinal condition, such as arthritis of the spine, it can cause severe pain and limit your mobility. If arthritis in the spine has left you unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits administered by the Social Security Administration .
If you have arthritis of the spine and you think you will be out of work for at least 12 months, get a free case evaluation today.
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the criteria established for a listing in the Blue Book, which is a medical guide used to determine if an individual is legally disabled and meets the criteria for monthly benefits.
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Is Arthritis A Disability
Sometimes, arthritis qualifies as a disability. It all depends on the severity and pervasiveness of the arthritis, along with what kind of medical evidence is provided and whether the person is able to work. When reviewing a claim for Social Security disability benefits related to arthritis, the Social Security Administration will consider several factors. For example, they may first look at how the type of arthritis claimed affects a claimants ability to walk. Is the arthritis in question affecting major, weight-bearing joints with enough arthritis pain and/or joint deformity that its difficult or impossible for the claimant to move about?
Those who suffer symptoms on a chronic and ongoing basis are more likely to be approved for SSDI benefits than those who suffer occasional or acute flare-ups of arthritis. For example, when considering ankylosing spondylitis or other spondyloarthropathies, the SSA will want to see medical imaging that documents the level of flexion of the spine to determine how the chronic condition affects the quality of life.
The Great Oxymoron: Inflammatory Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis typically is thought of as a degenerative arthritis in which the joint space is gradually lost with little or no associated inflammation and erosions .
However, there is an aggressive subset of osteoarthritis that is associated with inflammation, erosions, and aggressive joint space loss in the hands. This is known as Inflammatory Osteoarthritis of the Hands or Erosive Osteoarthritis of the Hands. This condition may be confused with other types of arthritis that cause inflammation and damage such as gout, psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
It is estimated that about 10 percent of the general population has Inflammatory Osteoarthritis. By comparison, the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis is about 1 percent of the population. Risk factors usually include female gender and family history. Some patients report that their parent had similar problems with the hands. Repetitive use of the hands, usually related to ones occupation, is also a known risk factor.
The joints usually affected are the last joints of the fingers and middle joints of the fingers . At onset of the disease, patients will complain of abrupt pain, stiffness, swelling and warmth. Later, this will evolve into a chronic dull pain with bony prominences and deformity of the joints. Pain may be incited or aggravated by mild trauma such as inadvertently bumping the finger against an object.
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How Ra Symptoms Progress Over Time
Everyone is different, but there are a few common patterns in the way RA plays out over the years:
- Long remissions. When youre in one of these periods, your pain and stiffness go away or get much better, but you arent cured. In a few people with RA about 5% to 10% the disease starts suddenly, and then they have no symptoms for many years, even decades.
- Symptoms that come and go. This happens to about 15% of people with rheumatoid arthritis. You may have periods of few or no problems that can last months between flare-ups.
- Progressive rheumatoid arthritis. Most people in this situation need a long-term treatment plan and a coordinated medical team to manage the condition and slow or stop it from getting worse.
There are four stages. Each has its own treatment options.
- In the early stages, your joint lining, or synovium, becomes inflamed. The bones arenât damaged yet. But the tissue around them often swells, making your joint stiff and painful.
- In this moderate stage, inflammation damages your cartilage, the cushiony stuff that protects the ends of your bones.
- The joint will be stiff, and you wonât be able to move it as far as you used to. The doctor will say youâve lost range of motion.
- In end-stage RA, inflammation stops, but the damage continues. The joint might stop working. Youâll still have pain, swelling, stiffness, and lack of motion. Your muscles may be weak, too. It could be time for joint replacement surgery.