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Psoriatic Arthritis

In psoriatic arthritis, the small joints of the hands and feet may become swollen and deformed. Nail changes are common if the arthritis affects the hands and feet. Statistics says that about 7-10% of patients with psoriasis have joint associated complaints, and these are most often occurring in patients with fingernail involvement. Back pain may indicate arthritis of the spine and/or sacroiliac joints. If you have joint pain or swelling, you should consult your physician about having psoriasis as well.

Although some have the occurrence of classic rheumatoid arthritis, many have joint disease that falls into one of the following three psoriasis types associated with psoriasis: - asymmetric inflammatory arthritis which is most commonly involved in the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints and less commonly in the knees, hips, ankles, and wrists. - A seronegative rheumatoid arthritis - like disease; a significant portion of these patients go on to develop a severe destructive arthritis or - disease limited to the spine (psoriatic spondylitis).

Symptoms of Psoriatic arthritis

•  It usually involves the joints of the hands and feet, knees, and ankles, which can become painful

•  They become swollen, hot, red, and stiff.

•  Pain and stiffness can also develop in the lower back, buttocks, neck, and upper back.

The five types of psoriatic arthritis

There are total five types of psoriatic arthritis: They are as follows:

•  Spondylitis is inflammation of spinal column. In about 6 percent of individuals with psoriatic arthritis, spondylitis is the predominant symptom. Peripheral disease can be present in the hands, arms, hips, legs and feet. Inflammation with stiffness of the neck, lower back, sacroiliac or spinal vertebrae are common symptoms in a larger number of patients, making motion painful and difficult.

•  Arthritis mutilans is a severe, deforming and destructive arthritis that affects fewer than 4 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis. It mainly affects the small joints of the hands and feet, though there is frequent association with neck or lower back pain.

•  Symmetric arthritis is much like rheumatoid arthritis but generally milder with less deformity. It usually affects multiple symmetric pairs of joints and it can be disabling.

•  Asymmetric arthritis can involve a few or many joints and does not occur in the same joints on both sides of the body. It can affect any joint, such as the knee, hip, ankle or wrist. This form is generally mild, although some people might develop disabling disease. The hands and feet may have enlarged "sausage" digits. The joints may also be warm, tender and red. Individuals may experience periodic joint pain which is usually responsive to medical therapy.

•  Distal interphalangeal predominant (DIP) - this "classic" type occurs in only about 3-5 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis. Primarily, it involves the distal joints of the fingers and toes (the joint closest to the nail). Sometimes it is confused with osteoarthritis, but nail changes are usually prominent.

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