Psoriatic arthritis (PA) is a complication that affects about a third of the 2-3% of women and men around the globe who suffer from psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis causes symptoms such as painful and swollen joints. Over time, it can distort your joints and lead to significant disability if not treated appropriately.
At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our board-certified rheumatologists help you stay comfortable and active despite PA. Even though there’s no cure for the condition, you and your doctor can take steps to manage pain and prevent deformity so that you can enjoy your life.
You may be able to improve your pain and joint function by losing any excess weight you’re carrying. Extra pounds stress your joints and increase pressure on the tissues that cushion them.
In addition, if you’re overweight you may also be inflamed. Systemic inflammation contributes to most diseases, including PA. We may recommend changing your diet to emphasize more anti-inflammatory whole foods, including fresh vegetables and fruits, pastured meats, and wild-caught fish.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of good sleep hygiene, rest and reducing stress and its value in prevention and reduction of flare ups and overall disease activity of PA.
Even though you may grimace at the thought of exercising your aching joints, we guide you through general light aerobic exercises and life style modifications that extends your range of motion and preserve joint function. Moving your joints releases synovial fluid, which helps them stay lubricated and healthy.
When you have any form of arthritis, you could worsen your condition if you put too much stress on your joints, or twist or wrench them. A physical therapist helps you find safe ways to move so you don’t damage your joints.
Physical therapy also strengthens the muscles and tendons that move and support your joints. With the increased support, your joints experience less stress and, consequently, less pain.
When your joints are stiff and swollen, they’re difficult to move. The pain can be excruciating, too. The first step is to try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Make no mistake anti-inflammatories are only to manage the pain but will not be an effective therapy to prevent joint damage and deformity. They can only be temporary until you get evaluated by our doctors.
If NSAIDs don’t work for you, we may recommend injections of corticosteroids to reduce swelling and pain again as a temporary and a quick relief until more effective preventative therapy is planned.
DON’T waste time!
The more time you waste before getting a valuated, the more joint damage and deformity. We recommend getting treated with DMARD‘s “ Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs” as soon as the diagnosis is established to prevent joint damage and disability.
The oral drug methotrexate and other DMARDs may help reduce inflammation. Methotrexate calms your immune system so it doesn’t overreact and attack healthy tissue. It also subdues inflammation, which lessens swelling and stiffness.
Biologics are a therapy made with the cells of living organisms. The cells include monoclonal antibodies and fusion proteins. When we inject your joints with biologics, they prevent your immune cells from attacking your body and causing inflammation.
We offer a variety of intravenous (IV) infusions that may give you long-term relief from pain and inflammation. Some subcutaneous injections or IV infusions that work for PA include Remicade®, symphony aria, Cimzia® and others
. You may also respond to other infusions that control all types of arthritis pain, not just psoriatic arthritis.
An infusion takes 30 minutes or more to administer. You simply relax — pain-free — in a treatment chair with a needle in your arm while the medication gradually enters your bloodstream. An IV infusion can give you relief from pain and swelling for months at a time, and in some cases for a whole year.
Treating PA may also help with some of the skin symptoms of psoriasis. To get relief from PA starting today, contact us by phone or online form for an appointment at the location nearest you: Choose from Somerville, Flemington, and Monroe, New Jersey.