Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis


What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic Arthritis is a chronic condition that can cause painful inflammation of joints and tendons. Whilst it is not curable , there are treatments available to reduce the impact of symptoms.

It is estimated that between 7% and 40% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis at some point in their lives.16 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis developed psoriasis first; on average, 10 years earlier.17

Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are:18

  • Painful or tender joints
  • Swelling or inflammation of the joints
  • Joint stiffness in the morning
  • Nail disease

The technical medical terms for some of these are as follows:

Enthesitis, where inflammation causes a tendon to become tight and painful.
Dactylitis, where an entire finger or toe can become inflamed and sore.

 

 

What causes Psoriatic Arthritis?

|n healthy joints, the synovial membranes (which surround joints and tendons) create fluid that lubricates the joint space and allows movement.18

In psoriatic arthritis the synovial membranes become inflamed by the cells releasing cytokines and this causes inflammation. The inflamed membrane releases more fluid than usual and this makes it swollen and sore.


Triggers

Common triggers of psoriatic arthritis are:19

  • Stress
  • Weather (symptoms usually worse in winter)
  • Medication (some medications have been found to trigger flare-ups in some people).
  • If you think your medication may be affecting your condition, talk to your doctor, nurse or specialist.

For an online leaflet containing more information about Psoriatic Arthritis click here