The chronic condition called psoriatic arthritis affects many people around the world and does not have a known cure. Some kinds of treatment can help patients live with psoriatic arthritis, but there is often some joint pain and other symptoms that continue regardless of treatment. Psoriatic arthritis develops over time, and doctors have looked at how to describe its development as part of general diagnosis and awareness around this inflammatory condition.
Scientists have tried to narrow down the causes for psoriatic arthritis, but the issue remains complex. Research has found some interesting ideas on how psoriatic arthritis generally develops.
One factor in the development of psoriatic arthritis apparently has to do with genetics. Some doctors contend that the development of this health issue is more frequent among some kinds of twins, and that as a rule, females tend to be at a higher risk. A family history of the condition may increase the chances of this condition manifesting in a patient.
Related Health Conditions
Some kinds of infections have been meant to cause the development of psoriatic arthritis. Strep throat infections are one known factor. Another way that psoriatic arthritis can develop is in conjunction with contracting HIV. Doctors look at these possibly related health issues to see if they have to do with a patient’s onset of psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
In many cases, the psoriatic arthritis condition is preceded by psoriasis, a scaling and hardening of the skin. Psoriasis may be present for years before patients start to have symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. However, this is not always the case.
Patients with psoriatic arthritis may experience flare ups in only a few joints. In addition to affecting the common joints, the knees, wrists, etc., psoriatic arthritis can also affect the spine and even some internal organs. Changes in the skin and nails can also accompany this condition. Tendons and cartilage can also be affected. This means that the psoriatic arthritis condition can have a real negative impact on mobility or lead to specific kinds of spinal pain that can be obstacles to continued mobility.
Generally, patients report changes in psoriatic arthritis over time, where the condition either gets gradually worse, accompanied by excessive psoriasis or other symptoms, or goes into periods of remission. Phases of this sort are very common with psoriatic arthritis. Patients can consult doctors about managing the worst temporary flare ups of this issue. Most often, physicians will tell psoriatic arthritis patients to manage their overall health and fitness, practice stress reduction, and possibly do some specific exercises or get other therapies like massage to handle the pain and discomfort associated with their illness.
Patients should consult their doctors before using any kinds of dietary supplements or other home remedies for this condition. Lots of medical specialists are reluctant to recommend more intense treatments like the use of heavy drugs including immunosuppressants or corticosteroids because of significant side effects, but these can also be effective treatments for advanced cases of psoriatic arthritis.