People are prone to psoriatic arthritis when they are already inflicted with psoriasis, a dreaded skin disease. Alternatively known as ‘spondyloarthropathies’, this rheumatic disease materializes in the form of skins lesions, swelling and excruciating joint ache in the hands and feet. Psoriatic arthritis typically targets the toes and fingers with stinging pain. Those diagnosed with this disease hold a soaring risk of developing first degree psoriatic arthritis. An HIV Infection also escalates the chances of contracting psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, thereby worsening the disease. Even physical trauma augments the development of this arthritis. To top off the list of all the bad connotations attached to this disease, there is no cure! So how does one get rid of the joint pain? How does one revive his or her fit as a fiddle status? Extensive treatment focuses on controlling inflammation in the affected joints to alleviate joint pain. Medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis have a similar healing effect on psoriatic arthritis. This section will open your eyes to effective ways by which you can treat this rueful form of arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis Cure
Before you employ these methods of treatment, bear in mind that they stand as strictly suppressive and not curative!
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are very suitable for patients suffering from brief spells of joint pain. NSAIDs comprise over-the-counter medication, such as ‘aspirin’ and ‘ibuprofen’ which will help control pain, swelling and morning stiffness. Regarded as the first- resort treatment employed for psoriatic arthritis, NSAIDS inherit the downside of negatively affecting your stomach and intestines. Its long-term use can lead to ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney damage and heart failure. Hence it is recommended only for minor pain and over short periods of time.
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
As most drugs aim at reducing pain and inflammation, these wonder drugs narrow down the degree of joint damage brought about by psoriatic arthritis. Like all good things, DMARDs take their own sweet time to manifest optimum healing results. Patients sit through weeks or even months of torture until the effects manifest themselves. Doctors prescribe aspirins as pain relievers during the DMARD treatment. Common DMARDs that are used as a first line of defence for peripheral arthritis are methotrexate, sulfasalazine and leflunomide. Methotrxate owing to its efficacy is normally the first choice although it spawns side-effects such as sore mouths and stomach upsets. Taking methotrexate with folic acid helps relieve these side effects. On the other hand, sulfasalazine benefits the peripheral joints.
TNF blockers have survived the test of time as being effective and tolerable forms of treatment for both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Etanercept, remicade, and humira are the popular tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and help in blocking the protein that causes pain and swelling in the joints. Although, all these three TNF blockers work wonders for this condition, only etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade) are FDA approved for treatment of psoriatic arthritis. TNF- alpha blockers should be offered to especially those patients with peripheral arthritis who haven’t recuperated after one or more DMARDs or patients with poor prognosis in general.
A form of steroids, corticosteroids are either taken orally or directly injected into the joints. They provide relief to patients with minor symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Also, Intra-articular and low-dose systemic corticosteroids are often used as bridging therapy ingredients. However, corticosteroids aren’t recommended due to their increased potential for "post-steroid psoriasis flares”.
Taking proper vitamins and minerals like glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, and taking a fish oil supplements are effective alternative medicine options that invariably help relieve some of the pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with psoriatic arthritis. Physical and occupational therapy are immensely helpful in protecting the involved joints and maintaining function.
Note: Don't try the above mentioned treatments on your own. They are only for information purpose. Please consult a qualified doctor for treatment.