Psoriatic arthritis affects up to 30% of people with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis causes joint inflammation that can lead to permanent joint damage unless diagnosed and treated promptly. Our expert Rheumatologists at ArthritisCARE offer highly skilled and friendly holistic health care to accurately diagnose and develop individualised treatment plans for you.
What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation, resulting in stiff, swollen, and painful joints. Usually, only people who have a skin disease called psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a painful skin condition where your immune system attacks and causes skin cells to grow at a faster rate than normal. This results in an itchy, scaly rash occurring on the knees, elbows, scalp, or torso. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but researchers believe environmental and genetic factors may trigger the skin disease.
Psoriatic arthritis occurs in patients who have the painful, itchy skin condition of psoriasis.
What causes psoriatic arthritis?
While we still don’t know the cause of psoriatic arthritis, we do know that it is linked to psoriasis. Researchers also believe genetic and environmental factors play roles in triggering your immune system to attack and leading to this type of arthritis.
What are the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
The signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), reactive arthritis, and gout. Psoriatic arthritis can develop slowly or occur quickly, with severe or only mild symptoms. This condition may cause joint pain in any area of the body but is more common in the toes and fingers, lower back, wrists, knees, ankles, or sacroiliac joints. Other common symptoms include:
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints, especially in the morning.
- Spondylitis (inflammation of the spine) causes pain and stiffness in the buttocks, lower back, or neck.
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness in tendons (strong cords that attach muscles to bone) such as at the back of the heel or sole of the foot.
- Changes in nails, such as thickening, colour, or separation from the skin.
- Reddened and painful eyes, like conjunctivitis.
- Reduced range of motion.
- Swollen toes or fingers.
Psoriatic arthritis can result in a stiff, sore lower back, neck, or buttocks, especially first thing in the morning.
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How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed?
If your doctor or Dermatologist (skin specialist) suspects that you have psoriatic arthritis, they will refer you to a Rheumatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
At this time, there is no specific test for psoriatic arthritis; rather, it is based on your symptoms, physical examination and medical history. You may be ordered blood tests that check for inflammation, such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), or to help rule out other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
It is essential to diagnose psoriatic arthritis as early as possible to prevent future complications. If left untreated, some people can develop severe psoriatic arthritis that can cause deformities in their affected joints.
What kind of psoriatic arthritis do I have?
Mild psoriatic arthritis, or oligoarticular arthritis, occurs when four or fewer joints are affected in your body.
Severe psoriatic arthritis, or polyarticular arthritis, is diagnosed when there is inflammation of the joints in four or more areas of your body.
Spondylitis is inflammation of the joints in your spinal column. It’s important to note that spondylitis is also associated with other types of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis.
Your Rheumatologist will use your symptoms, medical history, and a physical examination to determine your grade and type of psoriatic arthritis and will customise your treatments to reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness.
What are the treatment options for psoriatic arthritis?
Your Rheumatologist will tailor your treatment to address your symptoms and the severity of your condition. Your doctor may need to try several different treatments before finding the one that is right for you. Currently, the gold standard for psoriatic arthritis medication therapy includes:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological DMARDs.
We will work with you to determine the medications that relieve your joint pain and inflammation while improving your quality of life.
How much does it cost for psoriatic arthritis treatment in Brisbane?
The cost to see a Rheumatologist for diagnosis and psoriatic arthritis treatment in Brisbane varies depending on the tests and treatment you will require. For current prices and further information, you can read the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.
Why choose ArthritisCARE for your
psoriatic arthritis treatment?
ArthritisCARE takes a holistic approach to rheumatology and general medicine. We take the whole person into account when forming effective disease management plans to help our patients regain quality of life and alleviate pain and other main symptoms.
Meet Dr. Peter Landsberg
Dr Peter Landsberg, the founder of athritisCARE, is an experienced and highly skilled Rheumatologist with a special interest in treating inflammatory arthritis and connective tissue conditions. He built ArthritisCARE from the ground up to bring the people of Brisbane (and wider area) a team of friendly, dedicated doctors and support staff to work in a collaborative and caring environment to benefit all of their patients.
How to contact us
Find a psoriatic arthritis specialist near me:
You can find commonly asked questions about psoriatic arthritis below.
The first-line therapy for PsA is anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to treat the most common symptoms of inflammation and pain in patients. After a few days, most patients find they have improved dramatically.
Psoriatic arthritis is thought to be triggered by an injury, infection, genetic factors (such as a certain gene), or environmental exposures such as pollutants or smoke. Between 10% and 30% of people with psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Psoriasis plus a trigger (such as infection, injury, virus, environmental, or genetic factors) can lead to arthritis. Our immune system attacks healthy tissue and joints, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling in your joints.
No single test can confirm psoriatic arthritis; rather, it is a matter of physical assessment, symptoms, medical history, and ruling out other types of arthritis. Your doctor may ask that you have a blood test to help rule out other causes, such as looking for uric acid that would indicate gout. If you have psoriasis and develop symptoms of arthritis, the most likely cause is psoriatic arthritis.
Learn more about Psoriatic Arthritis
Arthritis Australia’s Psoriatic Arthritis Resources page
Arthritis Australia’s Printable Information Sheet about Psoriatic Arthritis
Arthritis Australia Booklet: Taking Control of your Psoriatic Arthritis
Empowered: If you have concerns or want more information about psoriatic arthritis, this website is designed to help.
The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance
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If you’re suffering from joint pain, stiffness, or other symptoms related to arthritis, lupus, or other rheumatic conditions, we are here to help. Our team of experienced Rheumatologists is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective treatment options that can help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.