There are still a lot of things to learn and unfold when it comes to our health. We already know that we can acquire various health problems like back pain, muscle stiffness, and cardiovascular diseases while working. Here's another one that may interest many workers nowadays – the psoriatic arthritis pain. This may be a bit familiar because of the terms "psoriatic" and "arthritis," but there are still some important details that you should be aware of.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
According to Mayo Clinic, a leading website providing medical information, psoriatic arthritis refers to a "...a form of arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis — a condition that features red patches of skin topped with silvery scales."
Some people develop psoriasis and then eventually diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. However, joint problems can already occur before the patches on the skin appear. Some symptoms and signs of psoriatic arthritis are similar to the signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these health conditions can make joints become swollen, painful, and inflamed.
Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis Pain?
The main cause of psoriatic arthritis is a condition when the body's immune system starts to attack healthy cells and tissue. Such an abnormal immune system occurrence leads to inflammation in the joints and skin cells' overproduction.
Medical experts are not sure what primarily causes psoriatic arthritis. However, the following factors can have a significant role:
When you have a family history of psoriasis, you are more prone to developing psoriatic arthritis.
People who are experiencing psoriasis are also at high risk of acquiring psoriatic arthritis.
An infection can trigger psoriasis, and without giving it proper attention, things may get worse.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect people at any age, but the most frequently with people between 30 and 50.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis Pain
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis pain can range from mild to severe. The most common signs are the following:
- Tender, swollen joints
- Swollen toes and fingers
- Flaky scalp
- Scaly patches on the skin
- Morning stiffness
- Nail pitting
- Eye pain and redness
- Painful muscles
- Achy tendons
- Removal of the nail from the nailbed
- Redness of the eyes
- Pain in the eyes
- Swelling and pain of the knees and hips
- Spinal pain
- Pain in the elbows, hands, and wrists
- Swelling of the toes and fingers
Your doctor can also explain the other symptoms that you may notice with psoriatic arthritis. That is why it is always essential to have a regular consultation with your doctor.
How is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed?
When symptoms become visible, psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed by doing the following tests:
- Blood tests to check the cause of inflammation and kinds of arthritis
- Imaging tests such as MRIs, X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans
- Examination of the fluid samples from the joints and skin
What are the Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis?
When it comes to treating psoriatic arthritis, the following are the most common medical treatments:
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs to cease the swelling, pain, and damage of the tissue
- Immunosuppressants to support the immune system
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Naproxen and Ibuprofen
- Therapy using UV light
- Biologics, a process that prevents or blocks a protein that causes the inflammation
- Steroids to control inflammation
- Using enzyme inhibitor
- Surgery to treat a damaged joint
Helpful Tips: Common Lifestyle Changes and Remedies for Psoriatic Arthritis
The pain caused by psoriatic arthritis can be mild or severe. It will be a big help if you learn some tips and changes that can help ease this disease's effects.
Here are some things you can do:
#1 Keep a healthy living.
What you eat and the way you do your daily activities can contribute to psoriatic arthritis risks. Make sure to eat a healthy diet. You can ask your doctor which foods should be avoided or which ones are best for you. Ask the kinds of foods that may trigger psoriatic symptoms so that you can avoid them at the earliest possible time.
#2 Maintain a healthy weight.
Make sure to avoid putting a lot of pressure on your joints by maintaining a healthy weight. Always ask your doctor regarding this.
#3 Apply proper ergonomics at work.
If you already have or at high risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, then you should consider applying proper ergonomics at work. Whether you're working in the office or in the comfort of your home, the way you perform your tasks can significantly impact your health. For instance, standing or sitting for long periods can pressure joints, which may trigger pain.
Use ergonomic accessories and devices such as standing desks, desk converters, and ergonomic chairs to support you in getting rid of a sedentary lifestyle. An inactive lifestyle is said to be another cause of joint and muscle problems.
#4 Cease smoking.
Smoking is known to be very detrimental to health. It may also trigger or contribute to the effects of psoriasis. It will be best to avoid or stop smoking so that the risk of having worse health problems will be avoided.
#5 Limit your alcohol intake.
When you're taking medications for arthritis or psoriasis, your alcohol intake may affect how your medicines work. This is the reason why you must limit your alcohol intake. Again, asking a medical expert will be a great help.
Protect your joints and enhance your overall health by doing some regular exercise. You can try low-impact exercises, like walking and swimming. If you think you have other medical conditions, make sure to ask for your physician's advice first.
#7 Try occupational or physical therapy.
When your doctor checks and evaluates your symptoms, he may recommend therapies aside from the other medications mentioned. Occupational and physical therapies may include non-surgical treatments as well as body adjustments to help support or protect your joints.
Psoriatic arthritis is only one of the many health-related issues that a person may acquire. This can hinder you from performing well at work or when doing your daily activities. We should be aware of the possible causes, symptoms, and treatments of this health condition for us to lessen the effects or totally prevent it.