In addition to causing dry, red patches of skin, psoriasis increases your risk of an inflammatory joint condition called psoriatic arthritis. At her practice in Houston, Texas, experienced rheumatologist Tara Rizvi, MD, can help you manage the chronic pain of psoriatic arthritis, so you can live comfortably and avoid lasting joint damage. Don’t live in pain — schedule an appointment with Dr. Rizvi online or over the phone today.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis — an inflammatory joint condition. It sometimes accompanies the skin condition psoriasis. Psoriasis causes you to develop plaques — patches of dry, red, scaly skin.
There’s no direct relationship between the severity of your skin symptoms and your arthritis symptoms. For example, you may only have a few small psoriasis plaques, but severe joint pain.
In some cases, you may develop psoriatic arthritis before the skin condition. You may develop psoriatic arthritis without having psoriasis, but your risk is notably higher if you have the skin condition. Your symptoms don’t necessarily affect the same areas of your body where you have psoriasis plaques.
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms can affect any of your joints. It’s common to have pain in the same joint on both sides of your body, such as your knees and elbows.
Your symptoms can range from mild or severe. You may go through periods when the condition goes into remission, and your pain stops, along with periods when your symptoms get worse. Without treatment, psoriatic arthritis can cause lasting damage to the affected joints.
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis includes symptom management and the slowing of joint damage. That means Dr. Rizvi focuses both on helping reduce your pain and targeting the progression of the disease.
With Dr. Rizvi’s guidance, you may need to change your daily activities so they put less strain on your joints. This may include simple modifications, like using jar openers instead of your fingers to open jars. Losing excess weight can also relieve some pressure.
To control inflammation, Dr. Rizvi may first recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. If you have only mild symptoms, over-the-counter pain relievers may be enough to ease your symptoms. If you have moderate or severe pain, she may prescribe stronger anti-inflammatory medication or inject steroids into the infected joint.
Dr. Rizvi may also prescribe medication. These include a type of medication called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, which slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis and protect your joints from damage.
For help managing psoriatic arthritis, schedule an appointment with Tara Rizvi, MD, online or over the phone.