Psoriatic arthritis: what is it, symptoms and treatment
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that can appear in the joints of people with psoriasis, which is a disease that normally affects the skin and is characterized by the appearance of red plaques that cause comezón and scaling.
The main symptoms of this type of arthritis, apart from the presence of red plaques in the skin, psoriasis communities, include the swelling and deformation of the joints and the difficulty in moving them.
This illness can arise at any age; however, it is more frequent in adults between 30 and 50 years of age, and 30% of people diagnosed with psoriasis in the skin develop this type of arthritis.
Main signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms that may indicate that psoriatic arthritis is developing include the following:
- Hinchazón and deformity of the affected joints;
- Pain and difficulty in moving the affected joints;
- Presence of red spots on the skin, the nails and the hairy skin, which cause comezón and flake off;
- Disorders at the ocular, cardiac, pulmonary and renal levels.
However, the first signs of this type of arthritis are the pain and the difficulty to move the joints, especially the hands, without necessarily swelling or the presence of spots on the skin. In this way, people who suffer from psoriasis and present symptoms related to joint problems should consult the doctor who is following up this condition, with the aim of confirming the diagnosis and initiating the most appropriate treatment.
What can you confirm the diagnosis?
The diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis can only be performed by evaluating the medical history, observing the lesions on the skin caused by psoriasis and an X-ray that helps to confirm the arthritis.
However, the risk of rheumatoid factor is also important to differentiate this condition from rheumatoid arthritis, as this indicates that arthritis can be a consequence of psoriasis and that rheumatoid factor is negative and the symptoms of arthritis are present. . If the result of the rheumatoid factor is positive, it generally indicates that it is a rheumatoid arthritis and is not related to psoriasis.
Types of psoriatic arthritis
There are 5 main types of psoriatic arthritis:
- Symmetric: this type affects the joints on both sides of the body;
- Asymmetric: In this type, the symptoms are moderate and, in general, they affect a maximum of 4 joints on any side of the body;
- Mutilating arthritis: this is the most aggressive type, which tends to destroy the joints of the hands and the pies, especially affecting the fingers;
- Spondylitis: this type is characterized by the rigidity of the cuello and the columna;
- Predominant distal interphalangeal: this type is characterized by stiffness in the joints of the fingers of the hands and pies. In addition, they can also develop deformations in the nails.
A rheumatologist will be able to identify which type of arthritis the person has and indicate the best treatment for each case.
How is the treatment performed?
Psoriasis cannot be cured, which is why the treatment is focused on reducing and controlling the symptoms, which is important to prevent the disease from getting worse.
In this way, one of the first treatment guidelines is to make changes in the lifestyle that help to prevent risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes, including abandoning the habit of smoking and other drugs, as well as regular practice. of light exercise and balanced nutrition.
Asimism, other treatment options can be as follows:
1. Use of anti-inflammatories
The main medications used for the illness are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which allow for an improvement in the signs and symptoms of the illness at short notice, relieving the discomfort.
In more severe cases, when the treatment with anti-inflammatories is not successful, other types of medication can be used, especially corticosteroids and course modifiers, such as sulfasalazine, methotrexate or cyclosporine.
Surgery for psoriatic arthritis is indicated when the illness is very aggressive and causes damage to the joints. The objective of the surgery is to improve or replace the injured joint, increasing the quality of life.
3. Physiotherapy sessions
Physiotherapy is another very important part of the treatment, as there are exercises that can be performed to help improve joint movements, alleviate tendinitis symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
In this way, the ideal is that the treatment is carried out with a multidisciplinary team, which must be constituted by the medical team, including the rheumatologist, the traumatologist and the general physician, as well as with a physiotherapist, a psychologist and any other professional of health that can help to improve the quality of life of the patient.
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