Medical Treatment Options for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis can be a very painful and challenging condition. Over time, joint pain may increase along with the underlying psoriasis, a condition that involves scaling of the skin. Many patients seek different kinds of medical treatment for psoriatic arthritis. In general, the medical community is responsible to educate patients on the options available to them and why a doctor might recommend some over others.

Preventative Care Options

Far and away, the most commonly recommended treatment for psoriatic arthritis involves taking care of your body. Doctors will recommend as much exercise as is possible relative to the pain levels that occur with psoriatic arthritis. A good diet is also recommended. Those who have problems with temporary increases in joint pain with psoriatic arthritis can practice what some call “diet screening.” This involves taking high-risk foods, like some nightshade vegetables, wheat products and other “usual suspects,” and taking them out of a diet one by one to reintroduce them to the plate. When a psoriatic arthritis sufferer can identify which foods are triggering outbreaks, she can better manage the condition.

Stress reduction is also another part of the preventative care that medical professionals often recommend for psoriatic arthritis. It’s important to balance stress, and also to balance physical activity throughout the day. Some specific “home treatments” may include sitting in a whirlpool, hot tub or hot bath, doing yoga or meditation, or getting massage therapy.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Some of the common stuff that is in your medicine cabinet can also be used to treat psoriatic arthritis. A doctor may recommend that you take several pills containing anti-inflammatory agents during a case of joint pain. Many of these medicines are available over the counter, but some prescription medications may also be suggested.

More Pharmaceutical Treatments

There are also other drugs available to treat psoriatic arthritis, but many doctors choose to use them as a means of last resort. You may ask your doctor about drugs like immunosuppressants and corticosteroids and get a rather dubious response. That’s because many medical professionals understand the risks involved with these types of medications. While some of the heavier drugs can be effective in reducing joint pain, they can also have some serious side effects, and that’s why your doctor might steer you toward more natural means of controlling the pain and discomfort around your psoriatic arthritis.

Joint Replacement Surgery

Although it is rare for doctors to recommend surgery in response to psoriatic arthritis, with some of the more advanced cases, a kind of surgery called joint replacement is an option that your doctor may put on the table. Joint replacement surgery is basically a response to any especially aggravated medical condition involving the joint, where degeneration of the joint means it may be necessary to rebuild it. Many patients who get these surgeries need them to be able to continue to walk, but doctors look at a joint replacement surgery very carefully on a case by case basis, and, unless the joint is severely affected, they may not recommend it as a solution for psoriatic arthritis.

All of the above options are things a doctor may suggest for treating psoriatic arthritis.