Psoriatic arthritis is a medical condition that refers to arthritis (joint pain) to a patient suffering from psoriasis. The patient experience psoriasis and arthritis at the same time with intermittent episodes of flare and subside. Psoriasis is a chronic skin inflammatory condition characterized by the red skin patches followed by itching, irritation. Arthritis is the swelling (inflammation) of joints that later develop joint pain, stiffness, etc.
Many people develop psoriasis on an early stage and later develop psoriatic arthritis but the joint problem initiates way before the skin patch or redness becomes visual.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Joint pain: Usually symmetrical in nature i.e. it pains in both the hands or legs
- Joint stiffness: experienced early morning or after rest
- Inflammation: swelling around the joint is observed
It develops when the cells in the body act against their own healthy cells. The defensive mechanism in the body generates an immune reaction that leads to inflammation around the joints.
Types of Psoriasis Arthritis:
- Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis: This is the most common type of psoriatic arthritis. It occurs in symmetry that means affects the joints of both hands, legs, fingers or toes. PA involves morning stiffness and simultaneous rashes on the skin.
- Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis: In this type of PA, joints affect fingers, toes, knee or hands of one side of the body. It is followed by red flaky patches on the skin.
- Distal psoriatic arthritis: This type of PA affects fingers of hands or toes of feet. It not only causes stiffness, pain but also leads to discoloration, pitting and sometimes separation of nails from the nail bed.
- Spondylitis: The characteristic feature of this type is the consistent back pain that occurs due to inflammation between atlas and axis (joint bones of vertebrae). It causes shoulder discomfort, neck or back pain.
- Arthritis Mutilans: This is the most severe form of PA, affecting tissues and small joints that reduce the length of the digits due to the bone loss from the body. It causes pain, stiffness, limits the mobility, pitting or discoloration of nails, etc.
Natural remedies to manage Psoriatic Arthritis:
- Weight loss – to reduce the stress on the joints
- Massage- increases blood circulation
- Cold pack – reduces pain
- Brisk exercise- swimming, walking (yoga and meditation too will help)
- Warm therapy- helps to manage swelling in the joints.
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