Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Psoriatic arthritis is a serious disorder that requires immediate attention, as an average of 10 – 30 percent of people develops this disorder and there are no permanent treatments. It can be potentially debilitating and disabling for people who suffer from this disorder, and the fact that there is no permanent cure for this condition should be a cause for awareness and vigilance.
Psoriatic arthritis typically afflicts a person’s fingers and toes and is connected with skin psoriasis. When the disorder become more severe, it will definitely affect other joints, and people who have back problems may find it hard to identify this disorder, however in the end it will surely cause quite a bit of pain along the spinal area. Another factor to consider is that this disorder affects people differently, and for the most any treatment prescribed is done so in conjunction with how much pain the individual is experiencing as a result of the psoriatic arthritis.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
Symptoms for psoriatic arthritis can develop gradually in some individuals, but more rapidly in others, as most people afflicted with the ailment experience a skin disorder on a heightened level followed by Joint Pain. Patches of psoriasis on the skin can appear almost anywhere on a person’s body with some flakiness and redness on them that will turn silvery in color in the end. Tenderness and swelling on the affected area is essential to identify, especially on the joint area. People who may have this disorder should document any changes as they happen and then report those changes to their doctor immediately. Usually, if people notice some skin changes together with a worsening case of arthritis, it is more likely that the conditions are connected to one another.
However, the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis vary from one patient to the next, as in some cases, fingernails are afflicted with psoriasis causing discoloration. Anemia and high uric acid levels will be revealed during blood tests, as other forms of gout and arthritis must be ruled out during clinical examination. When the fingers or toes are afflicted with psoriatic arthritis, chances are that the joints in these body parts will likewise be afflicted by the disorder. A disorder most commonly known as dactylitis may occur in this situation. This is when the appearance is sausage-like on the swelling of the toes and fingers, as the joints are usually painful and swollen. Although sometimes, only the toes and fingers are afflicted when psoriatic arthritis occurs.
Treatments for psoriatic arthritis typically involve non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDS, but some people who are suffering from this disorder are sensitive to this treatment, especially in regards to their stomach lining. Pain medications and traditional anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed, as well as anti-rheumatic drugs. For extreme cases of psoriatic arthritis, injections or shots of corticosteroids directly in to the affected joints is usually administered to prevent further damage and enhance flexibility. Proper care should also be taken to avoid and prevent placing unnecessary pressure on the affected joints.
Today, the market is full of newer drugs that cater to treating psoriatic arthritis and they are utilized to effectively block inflammatory proteins. Among these new drugs is called TNF or tumor necrosis factor, which works to block the development of tumors that are associated with psoriatic arthritis.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan