Psoriatic arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease involving the joints, affects about 30 percent of those with psoriasis.
This form of arthritis can start at any age but usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50. In most cases, it appears 10 years after the initial diagnosis of psoriasis.
Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues. This abnormal immune response leads to inflammation of the joints and overproduction of the skin cells.
It’s still unclear why the immune system does this to some people, but experts believe that it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Many people with psoriatic arthritis have a family history of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. These people also have a history of a bacterial or viral infection that could trigger the development of the condition.
Different Areas Affected by Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can affect different areas of the body, including:
- Fingers and toes
This form of arthritis can cause inflammation of the entire finger or toe. The medical term, dactylitis, pertains to this. It’s one of the hallmarks of psoriatic arthritis.
- Spinal column
Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the spine. This can cause stiffness in the neck, lower back, and pelvic area, making mobility a challenge.
- Bottoms of the feet
Another hallmark of psoriatic arthritis is a condition called enthesitis. It’s an inflammation of the entheses, the connective tissues between tendons or ligaments and bones. This usually affects the bottoms of the feet but may also affect the Achilles tendons.
Treating Psoriatic Arthritis
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. However, specialists can provide you with a treatment plan to help control the inflammation of the affected joints, reduce pain, and disability.
Ozark Orthopaedics have board-certified and well-experienced physicians who can help you find treatment to manage the symptoms of your psoriatic arthritis. To request an appointment, you may call us at (479) 521-2752.