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What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

April 13, 2018

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic arthritis condition that can affect everyone differently. For some, it can mean mild pain with occasional flare-ups; and in others, it is continuous pain. At New York Integrated Rheumatology,  our rheumatologist in Nassau County and Manhattan, Dr. Waseem Mir can help reduce your psoriatic arthritis joint pain.

When most people hear the word “psoriasis”, they automatically think of the skin disease where scaly white and red patches develop on the skin. This is caused by the immune system overworking and attacking the skin. This is uncomfortable in and of itself, however many people live with additional pain due to psoriatic arthritis. This can affect any joint in the body and can cause painful, stiff, and swollen joints.

Symptoms

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease which can worsen over time, however, there may be periods where symptoms seem to improve alternating with instances where symptoms seem to worsen. It is found that the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis do differ from other forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis such as the nature of joint inflammation as well as the location. For most living with psoriatic arthritis, joint pain may be present asymmetrically throughout the body, unlike rheumatoid arthritis where similar symptoms will exist for both the left and right body part, for example, the left and right wrists. Overall, most psoriatic arthritis patients feel joint pain, where the joints become swollen and painful to touch. Psoriatic arthritis, however, has a higher risk of causing:

·      Foot pain. Pain at the points where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. Specifically, the back of the heel is very common in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

·      Lower back pain. A condition called spondylitis is caused by inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of the spine.

·      Swollen toes and fingers. Psoriatic arthritis can cause painful swelling in the toes and fingers.

It is not entirely known how psoriatic arthritis is caused. However, there are factors that contribute to it. Genetics and environmental factors play a major contributing role in developing this condition.

If you have psoriasis and have noticed that you are developing joint pain, contact our rheumatologist in Nassau County or Manhattan for assistance. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can cause joint damage and reduced quality-of-life.