Treating Psoriatic Arthritis

by Amy Pusey
(last updated April 24, 2009)

Doctors see countless patients have day who complain to them about the pain they are experiencing. For some of these individuals, it is a secondary symptom to a pre-existing condition from which they already suffer. Psoriatic Arthritis is such a disease because it often is an aside to the skin condition, Psoriasis, which creates dry, red and scaly lesions on the skin surface. Approximately 30% of Psoriasis sufferers develop this form of arthritis, occurs in both men and women usually between the ages of 30 to 35.

Often hereditary, Psoriatic Arthritis is traditionally triggered by trauma, or a streptococcal infection. Generally, a medical doctor will use blood tests and x-rays to confirm a diagnosis. Incidentally, if a doctor requests an examination of the synovial fluid (taken from areas such as the elbows, hips, or shoulders,) this is to rule out the present of Gout (Crystal Arthritis.)

Psoriatic Arthritis' symptoms are similar to those of Rheumatoid Arthritis, involving:

  • Inflammation pertaining to the joints or immediate area
  • Joint stiffness
  • Centralized pain in the neck and back
  • Increased body warmth or temperature
  • Limited physical movement

Typical treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis includes, but is not limited to:

  • Extensive bed rest. This is intended to allow the body to recuperate from exertion because when the body is overly tired, it cannot manage pain very well.
  • Heat therapy. Reduce inflammation by applying heat to the affected areas, including hot baths or showers.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication. The purpose of these drugs (i.e., NSAIDS, Methotrexate, Corticosteroids,) is to reduce any swelling or inflammation within the joints, which will help to eliminate any apparent pain or tenderness.
  • Exercise. It is important to maintain a healthy body, which also helps how your body responds to pain. Routines are developed according to your physical capabilities.
  • Ice pack use. While using heat therapy helps reduce general inflammation, using ice packs post-workout help reduce or eliminate inflammation associated with exercise.

Psoriatic Arthritis can be quite uncomfortable, especially if it is present during an episode of Psoriasis. If you currently deal with the related skin disorder and experience persistent joint discomfort, speak to your treating physician about these additional symptoms to receive appropriate care. Alternatively, if you have been diagnosed and prescribed a treatment plan, adhering to it will add to your overall well-being.

Author Bio

Amy Pusey

With over 18 years experience in operations and human-resource management, Amy Pusey uses her skills in her consulting and freelance writing activities. She is a freelance writer for Tips.net, as well as a resume writer for GreenThumbResumes.com. ...

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