What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis. Characterized by joint pain and swelling, joint stiffness and fatigue, this condition affects men and women equally and those between the ages of 30 and 50. Although the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, it is believed to be a result of a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and the body's immune system. Symptoms are typically worse in psoriasis patients who have a family history of the condition.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed using a combination of medical history, physical exam, and, if suspected, imaging tests. Generally, treatments for psoriatic arthritis are similar to those for other forms of arthritis. This includes lifestyle modifications, medications, physical therapy, splints and braces, or surgery, depending on the individual case and severity of the condition.
In addition to medical treatment, there are self-management practices that can help to reduce symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. These include:
- Eating a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet.
- Exercising regularly and maintaining an active lifestyle.
- Staying well-hydrated.
- Managing stress levels.
- Getting adequate rest.
- Avoiding activities that make symptoms worse.
- Using splints and braces to protect joints.
By treating both the physical and psychological aspects of psoriatic arthritis, individuals can reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life.