Psoriatic arthritis treatments center on symptomatic relief, targeting:
The type of therapy administered depends on the severity and type of psoriatic arthritis. In mild or localized cases, only one or two joints are affected and the patient may be symptom-free for long intervals. In more severe cases, three or more joints are affected, causing greater joint problems and disability.
If caught early, therapy can help maintain joint function and mobility. Restraining outbreaks of psoriasis may also help in the control of the associated arthritis. Read about treatments listed below in this psoriatic arthritis patient education guide:
|Treatment||How/Why it Works|
|NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)||Block specific enzymes (Cox-1,Cox-2) from producing prostaglandins in order to decrease pain and swelling|
|Biological drugs||Suppress specific messenger cells that trigger inflammation, providing symptom relief and preventing future joint damage|
|DMARDs (Disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs)||Very selective drugs that directly affect specific cell events that are the cause of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis|
|Immunosuppressants (Traditional systemic drugs)||
Decrease painful symptoms by binding to the enzyme responsible for rapid growth of cells and inhibiting its action, thus slowing skin cell growth in psoriasis
*Given only in severe cases of psoriasis
|Antimalarial drugs||Occasionally used to treat psoriatic arthritis; a potent anti-inflammatory agent|
Certain dietary supplements have shown promise in symptomatic relief of joint problems.
Stretching and isometric exercise is crucial to maintain range of motion and strength of joints.
Aqua therapy, which is exercise done in a pool, can decrease pressure on the joints while flexing and stretching.
Heat and cold packs also relieve pain of joints.
|Corticosteroids (Steroids)||Potent anti-inflammatory agents that can be injected into joint spaces to decrease swelling|
|Synovectomy (Surgery)||Artificial joint replacement (to restore movement) or joint fusions may be performed when medical protocols are ineffective.|
Written by Barbara Hales, M.D.
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