The Connection between Joint Pain and Psoriatic Arthritis and Health
Joint pain is a very common symptom of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), affecting around 30 percent of those living with the condition. Joint pain is a significant factor in limiting the quality of life of those living with PsA. For those living with PsA, understanding the connection between joint pain and their overall health is key to managing their condition.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
For those unfamiliar with PsA, it is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It often appears with skin symptoms, such as scaly psoriasis patches, though not all who have PsA manifest skin problems.
What is the Link between PS and Joint Pain?
The main link between PsA and joint pain is inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to perceived threats, disease, or injury. It’s a protective mechanism designed to rid the body of the harmful things, but in the case of PsA, it winds up causing damage to healthy tissue.
The overactive immune system of a PsA patient sends inflammatory signals to the joints. In response to these signals, white blood cells move to the joints, where they release an arsenal of inflammatory chemicals that damage the joint’s structural components, leading to inflammation and joint pain.
What are the Health Consequences of Joint Pain?
The intense debilitating pain of PsA-related joint pain can impact the day to day function of those with the condition. In severe cases, injury and joint damage may also be present. PsA-related joint pain can also increase the risk of chronic musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, developmental disorders, depression, and osteoporosis.
How Can Joint Pain Be Treated?
Managing the pain of joint pain is key to managing PsA. However, what works for one person may not work for another—so experimentation is often necessary to determine the best approach for managing joint pain.
Treatment will often involve a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. Though, in some cases, surgery may be necessary.
Medication can be used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. These drugs include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (such as methotrexate), and biologics.
Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, dietary changes, and regular exercise can also help to reduce inflammation, strengthen muscles and support joints, and improve overall health.
Physical therapy can work to reduce inflammation and improve joint function, as well as help with strength and flexibility, movement, and endurance.
Finding the right combination of treatments for each individual is key to managing PsA-related joint pain. If joint pain persists, speak with a doctor about other treatment options.
Joint pain is one of the most common symptoms of PsA and managing it is key to managing the condition. Understanding the connection between joint pain and overall health is important for those living with PsA. Fortunately, there are many treatments available for joint pain, including medication, lifestyle changes and physical therapy.