If you have psoriatic arthritis, you need to control the inflammation that causes your joints to swell and ache. You will alleviate the pain you feel on the inside and outside of your body. Treatment may not only ease your pain, but it can prevent further damage. You need to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Depending on your condition, there are different medications. The location of your psoriatic arthritis will also play a factor in your treatment options. There is medicine you can use only when you get a flare-up compared to prescriptions to help prevent future tissue damage. For those who have severe psoriatic arthritis, surgery is an option.
Physical therapy will benefit anyone with psoriatic arthritis, especially if you have a mild condition and do not want to take any medication. It will improve your range of motion, function, and flexibility of the affected joints. You can visit a physical therapist, and he or she will customize a workout routine that will target your specific symptoms. An occupational therapist can also assist you with tailor-made activities that will help you perform daily tasks with your hands and arms in a less painful way. The exercises you learn will teach you how to avoid overusing your damaged joints and stay safe at home and work.
For mild psoriatic arthritis, NSAIDs may be recommended. This medication refers to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID for short. The most common over-the-counter types of NSAIDs include many painkillers you may already take for head and muscle aches. However, you can also have your doctor prescribe you stronger painkillers. Be careful, though, because taking large doses of NSAIDs over an extended period can result in stomach bleeding, ulcers, strokes, and heart attacks.
This category deals with prescribed medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs. The treatment is effective in stopping not only the pain you are experiencing but also slowing down the damage to your tissue. Even though they are stronger than NSAIDs, they might take longer to kick in; talk with your doctor about a realistic timeline for treating the problem. You should not have to deal with swelling and aching joints, especially when there is a medication that can eliminate your psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
If you try DMARDs but are still struggling with the painful symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a similar medication known as a biologic. Almost like a newer version of DMARDs, biologics block a protein in the body that causes inflammation. Biologics are administered by a health professional either as a shot under the skin or the vein. Be sure to talk about the pros and cons of biologics. Although every medication can have possible adverse effects, this particular drug is rather expensive. Feeling sick, dizzy, or having another reaction to the injection may not be worth it to you personally. It can also lower your immune system, so you cannot undergo the treatment if you have the flu or infection.
New prescriptions are being tested and created every day for psoriatic arthritis and other long-term inflammation diseases. One such medication is a pill that blocks a particular enzyme protein known as PDE-4; therefore, this slows down reactions that cause inflammation. Most patients lose weight while taking the medication, so you will have to discuss that important factor with your physician. Diarrhea, nausea, mood changes, depression, and headache are the most common side effects of the medicine. As more research continues, doctors study the connection between psoriatic arthritis and inflammation, and better treatments will be discovered.
If you have severe pain and swelling because of psoriatic arthritis, corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs you can take that will ease the pain. Even though it has the word ‘steroid’ in it, you should not confuse this powerful medication with anabolic steroids, which are used for building muscles. Your physician may prescribe steroids only if you have a severe condition because they have serious side effects. After long-term use, you can suffer from weight gain, brittle bones, hypertension, and diabetes.
This option is truly the last avenue for treatment when it comes to psoriatic arthritis. In fact, most patients never undergo surgery. Nevertheless, there is a procedure called synovectomy. It removes the damaged lining of the joint. Another surgery called arthroplasty will replace the diseased joint. Sometimes, joints cannot be replaced because of their placement; joint fusion will make the area more stable and stronger, and, hopefully, less painful. If no other psoriatic arthritis treatments work, surgery might not only relieve your pain but also allow your body to move better. Of course, you will determine if surgery is a good idea for your situation after consulting with your doctor.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.