Psoriatic Arthritis – Symtoms, Drugs

Psoriatic arthritis is an arthritis type whose occurrence is found on the psoriasis of the skin. This type of arthritis is very common and red patches are caused on the body. There are many people with skin condition who are very likely to develop arthritis. The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown. However, a great role is played by the genes. People who have psoriasis have higher chances of developing arthritis as compared to general population.

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are very mild and only few joints are involved. The most common joints that are involved are the fingers and toes. In some cases, the disease is very severe and many joints are affected. Sometimes, even the spine is affected. When the disease affects the spine, the symptoms include burning, pain and stiffness in the sacrum and spine.

People who develop this kind of arthritis experience changes in their skin and nails. The skin worsens over a period of time. There are many tests and signs of psoriatic arthritis.

Often the doctor examines the patients for:

  • Pitting in the nails and skin patches
  • Tenderness
  • Joint swelling

Sometimes, the doctor may also suggest joint X-rays. NSAIDs may be subscribed by the doctor for reducing the inflammation and pain in the joints. If psoriatic arthritis is very severe, more powerful drugs may be given. These drugs include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Leflunomide

Sometimes, if the joints are very painful, they can be injected with steroid medications. In some rare cases, surgery is needed by the patients for replacing or repairing the damaged joints. A healthy mix of exercise and rest may also be suggested by the doctor. A patient may be helped with a physical therapy and his movement of specific joints will be improved surely. Cold and heat therapy may also be used. The disease is very mild and only few joints are affected.