Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 30 percent of people who have psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. The condition causes excessive swelling and stiffness around the joints, and typically occurs in men and women between the ages of 30 and 50. Early recognition of psoriatic arthritis can make it easier to manage the effects of the condition and may also prevent progressive damage. There are also a number of treatment options available for psoriatic arthritis.

If you have developed symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that will reduce some of the side effect and also improve overall joint health. Your doctor will need to create a customized treatment plan that addresses the pain and inflammation you are experiencing, and may need to adjust it based on your reaction to each treatment.

Types of Drug Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

The type of treatment you receive will depend on whether psoriatic arthritis is classified as localized or generalized. Localized psoriatic arthritis typically affects only one or two joints and doesn’t usually lead to any type of deformity or disability. Generalized psoriatic arthritis is more intense and does affect the joints. It can cause disability and excessive pain, and in most cases, anti-inflammatory drugs and medications aren’t enough to control the pain.

Some of the most common types of drug treatments for psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologic drugs
  • Systemic drugs
  • Antimalarial drugs

Types of Non-Drug Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

Sometimes certain drugs can cause unwanted side effects or drug therapy may not be enough to manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms. For some sufferers, making some changes to the diet and taking dietary supplements that improve joint health can relieve much of the pain, swelling and stiffness associated with the disease.

Some non-drug treatment options for psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Climate changes – a warm and stable climate can reduce swelling and inflammation of the joints in some people
  • Rehabilitation – physical therapy can be effective for reducing joint pain and also for strengthening the joints. A rehabilitation program can complement other types of treatment programs, and can also help the sufferer maintain cardiovascular fitness and strength.
  • Surgery – a “last resort” approach for treating and managing psoriatic arthritis, surgery can help to reduce destruction of the joints that are limiting range of motion. Surgical intervention may not always be necessary.
  • Heat and ice packs – in some cases, it’s easy to reduce inflammation of swollen joints using heat and ice packs. Cold packs reduce swelling and heat packs can immobilize the area to relieve swelling
  • Shoe inserts and  ankle supports – these products are usually available from  a podiatrist can help to relive some of the pain and swelling associated with the condition

Talk to your doctor about an effective treatment plan for psoriatic arthritis. Your doctor can create a customized treatment plan that will help to reduce the stiffness, swelling and inflammation of the joints you are experiencing, and will also work towards strengthening your joints.