Psoriatic arthritis is a joint problem that often occurs with psoriasis - an immune system disorder that causes red, itching skin. Psoriatic arthritis occurs when the immune system begins to attack healthy cell in and around the joints. Psoriatic arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints and can often cause significant fatigue that does not go away with rest. Psoriatic arthritis is usually mild but some serious cases can affect and even damage multiple joints. In patients with psoriasis, age and family history may increase the risk of psoriatic arthritis.
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but certain medications can help control inflammation, pain, and damage to joints. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), corticosteroids injections, and methotrexate are often effective in relieving symptoms. Treatment may also include physical therapy and gentle, low-intensity exercise. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair or replace damaged joints. Managing psoriatic arthritis can become a lifelong challenge.
Certain lifestyle choices including a healthy weight and physical activity seem to make reduce symptoms. Cold and hot packs and proper fitting footwear can also make a difference for some patients in living normal lives.
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