What Are the First Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that may affect those with psoriasis. While there may be periods where you experience improved symptoms, they typically worsen over time and cause disabling pain. If you’re experiencing symptoms of what you believe to be psoriatic arthritis, please don’t hesitate to seek help today. The Hand and Wrist Institute can help you understand and manage your symptoms so you can get back to enjoying the things that you love. Give us a call today or reach out online, and someone will be glad to get you scheduled for a consultation.
What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriasis is a disease that causes people to develop patches of red skin that become capped with silvery scales. Arthritis is a disease that usually involves inflammation or breakdown of the joints, the area where your bones meet and move together, and can cause significant pain. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis. This disease can cause stiffness, swelling, and joint pain in any part of the body.
There’s no definitive type of blood test that helps identify this type of autoimmune disorder, and most people find themselves waiting months if not years for a diagnosis. This is why it’s essential to stay in tune with your body and know how to recognize the early symptoms so you can find a provider who specializes in what can be a disabling disease. There’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but the team of experts at the Hand and Wrist Institute can help you manage and control what could potentially be a debilitating disease.
First Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis
There are various signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Here’s what to keep an eye out for if you have psoriasis and think you might have psoriatic arthritis:
- Joint pain. You may experience pain in the knees, toes, fingers, ankles, and even your lower back. This pain may subside and then come back.
- Joint swelling. Swelling or warmth in the joints is a common sign of psoriatic arthritis.
- Nail pitting or other nail changes. Up to 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis develop changes in their nails. This may include thickening of the nails, depressions in the nails on the hands or feet, changes in the color of the nail, deformation of the nail, and even nails that separate from the nail bed or fall off entirely.
- Lower back pain. Psoriatic arthritis can lead to spondylitis, which causes swelling in the spine’s joints. Symptoms of this may include hip pain, muscle pain, lumbar and lumbosacral pain.
- Finger or toe swelling. Sometimes psoriatic arthritis starts in the smaller joints, such as those in the feet and hands. This may cause swelling, or what some people call sausage fingers, and occurs in up to 50% of those with psoriatic arthritis.
- Eye problems. These problems may include itchy, red, or dry eyes. It may also cause pain or sensitivity to bright lights, difficulty focusing, and floaters in your field of vision. If you develop floaters, it’s vital to see a medical professional immediately. Early treatment will help prevent complications such as optic nerve damage, glaucoma, cataracts, or vision loss.
- Fatigue. Many people with psoriatic arthritis experience fatigue. They may even have difficulty making it through the day without a nap.
- Reduced range of motion. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you may find it harder to use your fingers or move the joints past a certain point. This reduced range of motion can make it hard to use a phone, type, draw, or enjoy other activities.
If you’re experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of psoriatic arthritis mentioned above, you may need to seek medical help. Dr. Knight at the Hand and Wrist Institute is one of the top Dallas area doctors to treat hand and wrist conditions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to help you get back to a life without pain and inflammation.
Causes and Risk Factors of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease and occurs when your immune system begins attacking healthy tissue and cells, resulting in severe, even disabling, pain. When this happens, your body’s immune response causes joint inflammation and an overproduction of skin cells. Most people who develop psoriatic arthritis have a family history of it, and there are specific genetic markers that have been shown to have an association with developing the disease. An infection of physical trauma may trigger the beginning of psoriatic arthritis in those with an inherited tendency.
Several risk factors may increase the risk of you developing psoriatic arthritis. These include:
- A family history of a parent or sibling with psoriatic arthritis.
- Age also plays a significant factor. This disease most often occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 55.
- The single most significant factor in those who begin experiencing symptoms of psoriatic arthritis is psoriasis.
What To Do if You’re Experiencing Symptoms
Not everyone who has been diagnosed with psoriasis develops psoriatic arthritis, but it’s essential to understand the symptoms and what to do if you start experiencing unusual or new pain. If you have a history of psoriasis and are experiencing joint pain, it’s best to reach out to a doctor as soon as possible.
This aggressive disease can cause severe damage to your joints if left untreated. An evaluation by Dr. Knight at the Hand and Wrist Institute can help you get the treatment you need and avoid further damage to your joints and overall health. Give us a call today at 855-558-4263 to schedule an appointment.
Contact the Hand and Wrist Institute Today
If you’re experiencing symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and need help, contact the Hand and Wrist Institute today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Knight. You can send us a message online, schedule an appointment, or give us a call at 855-558-4263, and someone will be glad to help. We have several convenient locations around the Dallas area and offer flexible hours to serve you better.