Definition of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a certain type of medical conditionwhich can be characterized as an inflammatory type of arthritis. It issometimes also referred to as psoriatic arthropathy, arthropatic psoriasis orarthritis psoriatica. Psoriatic arthritis may occur in any person who suffersfrom skin psoriasis characterized by any level of severity.
Statistical Data and Epidemiology
According to official statistics, psoriatic arthritis occursin almost 30 percent of all cases of psoriasis. Out of all people who sufferfrom psoriatic arthritis there are 15 percent of them who develop skin psoriasisafter the psoriatic arthritis, there are 15 percent of them the developarthritis and skin psoriasis at the same time, but the majority of cases (70percent of them) first show signs of skin psoriasis which are then followed bythe symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. It is also an interesting fact that thereare more than 80 percent of patients who suffer from psoriatic arthritis whoalso suffer from nail lesions. These can be rather annoying and discomfortingas they involve loss of the nail, cracking of the nails, ridging of the nails,separation of the nail from the underlying nail bed and nail pitting. In mostcases of psoriatic arthritis, it starts kicking in after about ten years ofsuffering from skin psoriasis. According to that, it usually affects people whoare between 30 and 55 years old, but there are also cases where psoriatic arthritisaffects children. Psoriatic arthritis commonly affects Caucasians and itaffects both women and men equally.
Treatments of Psoriatic Arthritis
The biggest problem with psoriatic arthritis is an inflammationso any treatment method involved needs to take care of that. There are different therapies such as massage therapy, occupational therapy andphysical therapy which can be very helpful when it comes to reducing the painand making it easier to deal with all different sorts of everyday tasks. It isalso very important to educate the patients about their medical condition sothat they could control the disease much more efficiently. There are alsocertain exercises which are specifically designed for people who suffer frompsoriatic arthritis and these can be rather helpful in most cases. Theexercise regimes combined with plenty of walking, swimming or biking can be ofgreat help when it comes to reducing the pain, enabling much easier movement,restoring lost movement and maintaining proper strength and flexibility. Whenpsoriatic arthritis flares it is highly recommended to get as much rest aspossible.
Those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis may also use variousdifferent types of supports, splints and braces which are designed to protectthe affected joints and they are also very efficient in preventing any furtherdamage. These products are highly valuable because they provide the support forall the painful areas and prevent all the movements which may be associated withpainful sensations. Such products always need to fit the patient’s affectedareas perfectly.
There are also numerous different types of medications whichcan be of great help when it comes to dealing with the painful sensations andthe swelling. The symptoms involved with mild cases of psoriatic arthritis arecommonly alleviated by using non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Thereare some of those which can be purchased over the counter, while some othersrequire the doctor’s prescription. The ones which can be bought over the counterinclude nabumetone, naproxen, ibuprofen and Aspirin. The most commonly usedprescription NSAID is the one knon as celecoxib. These medications should neverbe taken on an empty stomach because they may lead to intestine and stomachirritation. Long term use of NSAIDs may induce gastrointestinal bleeding andkidney damage. Some cases of psoriatic arthritis are commonly treated withshots of corticosteroids which need to be injected directly into the affectedjoints in order to alleviate the painful sensations and the swelling. Moreserious cases of psoriatic arthritis involve the use of stronger medicationsknown as disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs or DMARDs. They are veryefficient in reducing the painful sensations, reducing the swelling andpreventing the worsening and the further damage of the affected joints. Themost commonly used types of DMARSs include injectable biologics andmethotrexate. In some cases, both of these types of medicaments are used at thesame time in order to obtain the best results. Prolonged use of DMARDs may leadto various different types of kidney and liver problems. There are alsobiological response modifiers which have just been added recently to the list oftreatment options for those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis. The lastoption for all those affected by psoriatic arthritis is surgical intervention.
Outcome – What to Expect?
Unfortunately there is no way of saying whether the jointsaffected by the disease will be destroyed in spite of all the aforementionedtreatment methods which can be used. It is very important to diagnose thedisease as early as possible and utilize the best treatment possible.