What Do You Know About Psoriatic Arthritis?

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    Question 1/8

    Most people with psoriasis get psoriatic arthritis.

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    Answer 1/8

    Most people with psoriasis get psoriatic arthritis.

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    About 15% of people with psoriasis (red, raised, scaly patches on the skin) get psoriatic arthritis. When you have this kind of arthritis, your immune system attacks your joints. The condition causes pain, stiffness, and swelling, usually in the fingers and toes. It can also affect your lower back, wrists, knees, or ankles.

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    Question 2/8

    You're more likely to have psoriatic arthritis if:

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    Answer 2/8

    You're more likely to have psoriatic arthritis if:

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    Experts don't know all the reasons why some people get it and others don’t, but the condition seems to run in families. Up to 40% of people with it have a family history of joint or skin disease. If you have a parent with psoriasis, you’re more likely to get it and psoriatic arthritis.

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    Question 3/8

    A frozen bag of peas can help with the pain.

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    Answer 3/8

    A frozen bag of peas can help with the pain.

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    You don't have to eat them! Wrap the frozen bag (or a bag of ice) in a towel and put it on your achy, swollen joints for some temporary relief. The icy cold curbs inflammation. A warm bath or shower, a hot pack, or a warm towel also can help with aching muscles, joint pain, and soreness.

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    Question 4/8

    Psoriatic arthritis often causes problems with:

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    Answer 4/8

    Psoriatic arthritis often causes problems with:

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    Pitted, crumbly, or discolored nails are common with the disease. Sometimes, fingernails or toenails come away from the nail bed, or they look like they have tiny holes in them. People who have a lot of joint pain and skin patches tend to have the most damage to their nails.

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    Question 5/8

    How many different patterns of joint problems are there for people with psoriatic arthritis?

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    Answer 5/8

    How many different patterns of joint problems are there for people with psoriatic arthritis?

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    Each of the five kinds can look different for every person. One mild form affects five or more joints in pairs (like both knees or both elbows) on either side of your body. Another calmer version can show up anywhere, usually in less than five joints. The third type causes pain and swelling in your fingers and toes closest to the nail. The fourth affects the spine and joints linking your spine to your pelvis. The last type, called arthritis mutilans, is the rarest. It causes severe damage, usually to fingers or toes.

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    Question 6/8

    Which usually comes first?

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    Answer 6/8

    Which usually comes first?

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    Usually, people who get psoriatic arthritis already have psoriasis. If you have that skin condition, tell your doctor about any aches and pains. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can include:

    • Stiffness
    • Pain
    • Throbbing
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness in joints
    • Swollen fingers and toes
    • Redness and pain in the eye

    Early treatment can limit damage to your joints.

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    Question 7/8

    What's the best exercise for psoriatic arthritis?

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    Answer 7/8

    What's the best exercise for psoriatic arthritis?

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    It’s good for you to be active. Regular exercise can relieve pain and make it easier for you to move. It also helps protect your joints by making the muscles around them stronger. 

    Choose exercises that are easy on the joints, like cycling and swimming. If you're not active now, start slowly and get your doctor's OK. You can start with 5 minutes of slow walking and work your way up to 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.

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    Question 8/8

    There is a cure for psoriatic arthritis.

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    Answer 8/8

    There is a cure for psoriatic arthritis.

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    But there are treatments for the pain, swelling, skin, and joint disease. Your doctor might suggest you take aspirin or ibuprofen. Or, if your symptoms are severe, he may give you a prescription for drugs that curb inflammation or work on your immune system. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle will make a big difference for you, too.

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WebMD Voices

Jaime Lyn M., 42
Detroit
Living with psoriatic arthritis is like playing Pac-Man. You gobble up dots (do your daily activities) before the ghosts (psoriatic arthritis symptoms) get you. Cherries are like medicine -- they turn the ghosts invisible for a little while.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
I thought that exercising would increase the pain in my hips, but movement has actually decreased the inflammation and has increased my mobility. Now I take two walks daily.
Michele S., 68
Cornville, AZ
While others may not be able to understand fully the pain and challenges you face, it doesn’t mean they can’t care. Talk openly and share your struggles and strengths with those who ask.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
Don't let pain keep you from moving your body. Start slow by doing what you can, even just 5-minute walks. Then make it a daily habit and increase as your body allows.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
My chronic pain got so bad that I couldn't hold a pencil. My wife and I decided as a team that the potential benefit to my quality of life was worth the risk of trying a biologic. Two weeks later, I was able to resume my normal work routine.
Jaime Lyn M., 42
Detroit
Psoriatic arthritis is the hidden component of the psoriasis that people can't see. I try and educate everyone I can on the chronic pain so they understand what I deal with, often daily.

From WebMD

More Information on Psoriatic Arthritis