Why Is It Hard To Diagnose Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic Arthritis can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms frequently mimic other forms of inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Furthermore, there are many types and variations of psoriasis, some more benign than others. Since people with psoriatic Arthritis usually have both Arthritis and skin involvement, it may take several visits to your doctor to confirm your diagnosis.
How Will Psoriatic Arthritis Affect Me
Starting the right treatment as soon as possible will give you the best chance of keeping your arthritis under control and minimise damage to your body.
Psoriatic arthritis can vary a great deal between different people. This makes it difficult to offer advice on what you should expect.
It will usually have some effect on your ability to get around and your quality of life, but treatment will reduce the effect it has.
Psoriatic arthritis can cause long-term damage to joints, bones and other tissues in the body, especially if it isnt treated.
Having Inflammation Of Tendons And Ligaments
Enthesitis means inflammation of connective tissue that attaches to bones. These include tendons, ligaments, and bursae. Most cases of enthesitis are due to injury or overuse. Think of a marathon runner with Achilles tendinitis or a tennis player with tennis elbow. In psoriatic arthritis, the immune system attacks these connection points. So you can have someone who leads a fairly sedentary life who suddenly develops Achilles tendinitis on both feet, runners knee, and plantar fasciitis happening all at once, for no good reason.
Also Check: Pain From Ra
Treatment For Psoriatic Arthritis
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis aims to:
- relieve symptoms
- slow the condition’s progression
- improve quality of life
This usually involves trying a number of different medicines, some of which can also treat the psoriasis. If possible, you should take 1 medicine to treat both your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
The main medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis are:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- biological therapies
Swollen Joints Fingers And Toes
Often you’ll notice swelling in your knees, ankles, feet, and hands. Usually, a few joints are inflamed at a time. They get painful and puffy, and sometimes hot and red. When your fingers or toes are affected, they might take on a sausage shape. Psoriatic arthritis might affect pairs of joints on both sides of your body, like both of your knees, ankles, hips, and elbows.
You May Like: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Hands
What Is Psoriatic Arthritis Video
Psoriatic arthritis can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in and around your joints.
It usually affects people who already have the skin condition psoriasis . This causes patches of red, raised skin, with white and silvery flakes.
Sometimes people have arthritis symptoms before the psoriasis. In rare cases, people have psoriatic arthritis and never have any noticeable patches of psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are autoimmune conditions. Our immune system protects us against illness and infection. In autoimmune conditions, the immune system becomes confused and attacks healthy parts of the body.
Both conditions can affect people of any age.
Its estimated that around one in five people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of spondyloarthritis. These are a group of conditions with some similar symptoms.
If You Have These Symptoms Heres Where To Get Professional Help
Just because you have one of these symptoms doesnt necessarily mean you have psoriatic arthritis. Tons of other things can cause fatigue, for example, like stress, anxiety disorders, and sleep apnea, which makes it difficult to use a list of symptoms alone to figure out if you have psoriatic arthritis. The only way to know for sure is to talk to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible if you need one. Remember: Psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage without treatment, not to mention make a big impact on your daily life.
If someone has persistent joint pain or stiffness, especially if accompanied by joint swelling or tenderness, and even more so if its affecting more than one joint simultaneously, this should be brought to the attention of a physician. Most internists or family practitioners can do the preliminary evaluation to determine what condition may be responsible, says Dr. Rosenstein.
Your doctor may need to refer you to a rheumatologist, a dermatologist, or potentially both for diagnosis and treatment. If you realize in your search for care that you have access to a combined rheumatology-dermatology clinic, that can be a really excellent way to land on a treatment plan that collaborates between the two types of care, says Mikulik. The National Psoriasis Foundation can help you find specialist providers and prepare for your first appointment.
Also Check: The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Is There A Definitive Test For Psoriatic Arthritis
Answer itTheredefinitive test for psoriatic arthritisdiagnosistestspsoriatic arthritis
Likewise, people ask, what are the early symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
Tell your dermatologist if you have psoriasis and any of these signs and symptoms:
- A very noticeable swollen finger or toe.
- Swollen and tender joints.
- Stiffness when you wake up or sit for hours stiffness fades as you move.
- Nails that are pitted.
- Nail separating from nail bed.
- Lower back pain.
What are the first signs of psoriasis?
The most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:
- red, raised, inflamed patches of skin.
- whitish-silver scales or plaques on the red patches.
- dry skin that may crack and bleed.
- soreness around patches.
- itching and burning sensations around patches.
- thick, pitted nails.
Six Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can vary in severity, from person to person and can even come and go . Here are six symptoms you should watch out for.
1. Its hard to move in the morning
Psoriatic arthritis can make getting up in the morning a challenge, especially after you havent moved around for a while. It can cause stiffness and pain in one or more joints, from your toes to your fingers. It can even cause pain and swelling in the tendons and surrounding structures that connect to your bone, a condition called enthesitis.
2. Your fingers look like warm sausages
About 30 to 50 percent of patients with psoriatic arthritis will experience the symptoms of dactylitis, or extreme swelling in their fingers and toes, Dr. Aquino said. This is when the entire fingers and toes swell to resemble sausages.
You may notice your swollen joints feel warm to the touch because inflammation and swelling cause heat.
3. You have lower back pain
When you think of psoriatic arthritis, you typically think about skin symptoms, but many people experience lower back pain as well. About 20 percent of those with psoriatic arthritis will develop a subtype called spinal involvement or psoriatic spondylitis, which may result in pain and stiffness in the back and hips, Dr. Aquino said.
4. Your nails have grooves and ridges
5. You experience eye problems
6. Youre always tired
Read Also: Psoriatic Arthritis Rash Hands
Psoriatic Arthritis And Your Feet: What Is It
Psoriatic arthritis can inflame any of the foots 26 bones, 33 joints, and connective tissues that surround the joints. I have so much pain where my toes and foot connect. Feels like a constantly moving charley horse in my foot, said one member.
Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, joints may feel warm, sore, and tender. Members report that stiffness is often worse in the morning. Getting out of bed, I have a lot of pain in my feet, said one member. I woke up with pain in my ankle. Thanks psoriasis, said another member. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, PsA often only affects one side of the body, so just one foot or toe may be affected.
Although PsA can develop slowly with mild symptoms, several members of MyPsoriasisTeam report rapid and severe onset. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis very quickly after discovering my first tiny sign of psoriasis, and unfortunately, it progressed quickly, explained one member. Another said, This disease came out of nowhere! I was literally fine, then boom, my feet started hurting and getting worse and worse.
Psoriatic arthritis flares on-and-off periods of worsening symptoms can make coping with foot PsA even more challenging, say members of MyPsoriasisTeam. Some days I am totally fine and other days, the flares are so bad I can barely walk, said one member. During a flare I need walking sticks to help me along, said another.
It Hurts To Grip A Pen Or Bend Your Toes
Pain and swelling over tendonsa symptom known as tenosynovitisis a common symptom in people with psoriatic arthritis due to that persistent inflammation, says Mikulik. It tends to affect the tendons of the toes or fingers. Depending on how exactly it affects you, it might hurt when you try to rotate your wrist or grasp anything, according to the Mayo Clinic, or you may feel pain or stiffness when trying to move your feet and toes.
You May Like: Why Is My Arthritis Acting Up
Fatigue: A Common Problem That Can Worsen Pain
People who have psoriatic arthritis report higher levels of fatigue than those without the condition, according to a study published in January 2020 in the journal Dermatology. Psoriatic arthritis is a systemic inflammatory condition, Gupta says. Left untreated, it can result in fatigue and a general feeling of sickness. It can also result in anemia due to prolonged inflammation.
Unchecked fatigue can worsen your pain and vice versa, so talk to your doctor about adding pain management and sleep strategies to your psoriatic arthritis management plan.
You Feel Pain In Your Heel Every Time You Take A Step
Psoriatic arthritis also has a tendency to cause inflammation in sites where tendons insert into bones, such as the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel, and the plantar fascia, causing pain in the sole of the foot and bottom of the heel which often will interfere with walking, says Dr. Rosenstein.
While experts say this isnt the most common psoriatic arthritis symptom, it can make life with this condition even more difficult. If you have heel pain that you cant explain with other reasons , you should get it checked out by a doctor.
Other Treatments For Psoriatic Arthritis
Members of MyPsoriasisTeam also use several nonprescription treatments to alleviate PsA pain, including ice and topical painkillers, and lifestyle changes to their diet and exercise habits.
- Topical painkillers Icy Hot with lanolin helps my feet. The sprays are great for sleeping, shared one member.
- Ice Rolling your feet on a small bottle of frozen water wrapped in a towel or applying ice packs to sore areas can help reduce inflammation in feet joints.
- Apple cider vinegar I soak in 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and water every other day for 15 minutes. Its an anti-inflammatory that helps soothe my feet, one member said.
- Diet and exercise Adopting a healthy diet and gentle exercise program can help manage symptoms and contribute to overall well-being. Members say losing weight helps them keep stress off their joints. Slow gentle movement, such as yoga and tai chi, as well as physical therapy, helps build strength, reduce stiffness, and maintain foot mobility.
Always speak to your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise program.
Crohns Disease And Other Digestive Problems
Symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping, blood in your stool, and diarrhea could be signs of inflammatory bowel disease. People who have both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are at risk for developing Crohns disease in particular, according to the NPF. This is likely because the mutations in the genes of people who have psoriatic arthritis and Crohns disease are similar, or it may be related to side effects from treatment.
If you struggle with digestive issues, be sure to visit your doctor for an evaluation.
Also Check: Ra Pain Relief
Joint Heat And Swelling
Swelling is a common symptom of inflammation any type. Arthritis makes no exception either, not to mention psoriatic arthritis. Practically, some of the joints get swollen without any apparent reasons. On the same note, as the inflammation occurs, it will also cause heat. The heat will not be too obvious in an early stage.
Instead, you will only notice it when you touch the inflammation. The affected area feels warm when you touch it. If left untreated, this warmth will become more obvious and not just when you touch it. Instead, you will feel heat all around the inflammation, whether you touch it or not. At this point, the affection is no longer in an incipient stage, so it requires immediate treatment.
Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis In The Feet
Because theres no definitive test for psoriatic arthritis in the feet and symptoms are similar to other forms of inflammatory arthritis some members of MyPsoriasisTeam go months, even years, before receiving a correct diagnosis. My feet are my worst part, with so much pain in one deformed foot, said one member who waited more than a year to get a diagnosis. A 2018 study found about 30 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis waited more than five years for a diagnosis after symptom onset.
In my experience PsA can be difficult to diagnose unless you have all the standard symptoms, pointed out one MyPsoriasisTeam member. I was told if blood tests come back negative, it doesnt mean you dont have it.
Early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of foot PsA is critical to preventing disease progression. Delaying treatment by as little as six months can result in permanent joint damage.
Your doctor will take a medical history, and may order a physical exam, blood tests, an MRI scan, and X-rays of joints. They may also refer you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in arthritis. I went to podiatrists and orthopedic doctors trying to figure out what was happening, explained one member. All of their treatments failed. My primary doctor took one look and said, Something else is going on. Im referring you to a rheumatologist.
Don’t Miss: Rheumatoid Arthritis Better With Movement
Psa Symptoms: What Are The First Signs Of Psoriatic Arthritis
Arthritis, by definition, is characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage within the joints. If you are suffering from any type of arthritis, this is the general cause of the pain and stiffness in your joints. With over 100 types of arthritis, the top three most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. In this article, we will discuss the third most common type of arthritis: psoriatic arthritis .
What Psoriatic Arthritis Looks Like
PsA is characterized by the symptoms it causes. This includes swelling and stiffness of joints, low back pain, foot pain, eye symptoms, skin changes, and nail symptoms. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms so your doctor can properly diagnose you and start treatment as early as possible.
Read Also: Best Treatment For Arthritis In Fingers
Early Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis
Here are some common first signs of PsA. If you experience any of these, talk to your primary care provider. Early detection and treatment of the disease can help prevent future joint damage.
What Are The Early Stages Of Psoriatic Arthritis
In most cases, psoriatic arthritis begins years after the initial presentation of psoriasis symptoms. Psoriasis symptoms include flare-ups of itchy, red, scaly skin.
If you have psoriasis, several things can make you more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis. These risk factors include:
- having psoriasis on your fingernails
- having a family history of psoriatic arthritis
- being between the ages of 30 and 50
- having scalp psoriasis
Like other types of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis often starts with pain and swelling in one or more of your joints. It tends to begin in the smaller joints, such as those in the fingers and toes. But you might also first notice it in larger joints, such as your knees or ankles.
You may also notice swelling in your fingers or toes. This swelling can affect the entire toe or finger, not just the joint.
You May Like: Psoriatic Arthritis Rash On Hands
Homeopathic Treatment For Psoriatic Arthritis:
Homeopathy is a medical system that treats the whole person. It focuses on your specific symptoms and personal experience with any conditionnot just your lab test results or diagnosisto determine the appropriate remedy to alleviate your suffering. More than 2500 homeopathic remediesexist, most of which can be taken by mouth . When choosing one for you, your homeopath will consider your constitutional type as well as all of your individualized symptoms to find the best remedy to give you relief. Although its impossible to say precisely what treatment would help without examining you first, you must visit a registered homeopahty doctor for detailed information. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy now!