If you've recently been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, you might have questions and concerns about what this means for your health. You're not alone in this journey, so don't worry. About 30% of people who have psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. In the United States, that equates to about 2.4 million people.
As an interventional pain management expert, Bradley Silva, MD, knows firsthand how psoriatic arthritis, one of the 100+ types of arthritis, can impact your life. That’s why we offer a variety of treatments and guidance on lifestyle modifications here at Lakeshore Pain and Spine Center to help you get the relief you need.
In the meantime, here’s what you need to know if you’ve been diagnosed with this type of arthritis.
All types of arthritis are characterized by joint pain, but psoriatic arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects both your skin and joints. It typically develops in individuals who have psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches. This arthritis type emerges in various ways, with some people experiencing mild joint discomfort while others encounter more severe symptoms.
Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:
The good news is that several effective treatment options are available to manage psoriatic arthritis and improve your quality of life. Treatment goals often focus on the following:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected joints. Dr. Silva may also recommend stronger medications if needed.
Biologic medications target specific components of the immune system responsible for inflammation. They can be highly effective in reducing symptoms and preventing joint damage.
Your lifestyle plays a crucial role in managing psoriatic arthritis. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management techniques can help you stay active and feel better. Your diet is particularly important since the right diet can help:
What you consume is just as significant as what you avoid, such as limiting (or avoiding) refined foods, sugary foods, diet soda, processed meat, fried foods, dairy, and red meat, which can increase inflammation in your body.
Working with a physical therapist can help improve joint function, reduce pain, and enhance mobility.
Interventional pain management focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain conditions. Unlike traditional pain management approaches that may rely primarily on medication and physical therapy, interventional pain medicine employs minimally invasive procedures and techniques to alleviate pain, improve function, and enhance the quality of life. Interventional pain procedures include joint injections, nerve blocks, and radiofrequency ablation.
You may consider surgical interventions like joint replacement in severe cases where joint damage is extensive.
Dealing with a chronic condition like psoriatic arthritis can be emotionally challenging. Coping strategies to help you manage your diagnosis include the following:
Knowledge is empowering. Learn about your condition and treatment options so you can actively participate in your care.
Joining a support group or talking to a therapist can provide emotional support and a safe space to share your experiences.
Keep open lines of communication with Dr. Silva. Regular check-ins and updates are essential for effective treatment.
Be sure to pay attention to your body's signals and adjust activities accordingly. Don't overexert yourself, and rest when you need to.
Maintaining a positive outlook can significantly impact your physical and mental wellness. Practice mindfulness, meditate, and focus on the things you can control. Celebrate small victories to help you stay positive.
Remember that managing psoriatic arthritis is a lifelong journey, and there may be ups and downs along the way. With the right medical care, lifestyle adjustments, and support system, you can lead a fulfilling life despite your diagnosis.
Questions? Call our Kenosha, Wisconsin, location at 262-484-4035 today to book your appointment, or request an appointment online to start exploring your treatment options.