“Sometimes I get pain in my knee joints, and it’ll be there for three, four days. And then I wake up another morning and I get a pain in my shoulder, or hands” narrated a patient suffering with Psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis is a chronic, debilitating condition of joints. Psoriatic Arthritis appears much like Rheumatoid Arthritis. It can involve few or many joints such as knee, hip, ankle, wrist, distal joints of fingers and toes and the spinal column.
Here are some questions most commonly asked by patients and answers to them.
Could I have Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic Arthritis is a common disorder affecting the joints and tendons that gets worse over time. If you have Psoriasis* or a family history of Psoriasis you might be at risk of developing this serious disabling condition. Up to 30% of patients with Psoriasis develop this condition.
(*Psoriasis– A chronic (long-lasting) immune-mediated disease of the skin and joints.)
What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic Arthritis occurs when body’s immune system begins to attack healthy cells and joints. This abnormal immune response causes inflammation in the joints leading to array of symptoms. Both genetic and environmental factors play a role.
What are the symptoms?
- Swelling, stiffness and pain in one or more joints
- Joints are red and warm to touch
- Pain in and around the feet or ankles
- Pain in the lower back above the tail bone
- Pitting or separation of nails from the nail bed
What treatments are available for Psoriatic Arthritis?
Conventional treatments include use of non steroidal anti inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, aspirin. Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs is used to slow the progression of disease.
Not every treatment works. Side effects of the conventional treatments also vary from person to person.
Homeopathy gives an excellent chance of recovery without any adverse effects. It corrects the deviated immune response at the cell level thereby reducing the inflammation and pain in the joints. The complications of the disease are also minimized.
Patient education is a must, as educated patients have the highest success rate with their treatments. Lack of understanding about the disease and the treatment options create roadblocks for the patients. Individuals suffering with psoriatic arthritis are shouldering more of the costs of their health care.
What are the complications?
A small percentage of people with psoriatic arthritis develop destruction of small bones in hands leading to permanent deformity and disability.
Self tips for an effective disease management
- Avoid straining finger joints and lifting heavy weights
- Try to maintain an ideal body weight as maintaining a healthy weight places less strain on your joints
- Exercise to keep your joints flexible. Swimming and walking are less stressful on joints
- Daily exposure to morning sunlight for about 20 minutes help
- Use cold and hot packs to relieve the pain
- Include Omega3- fatty acids in your diet. Omega3 has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Fish oil and flax seeds are the richest sources of Omega3-fatty acids.
- Avoid red meat as it increases inflammation of the joints.
Exercises Regularly it helps keeping your joints flexible and muscles strong.
- Rotate each wrist clockwise and anti clock wise
- Clench and unclench your fingers
- Rotate each knee clockwise and anticlockwise
Perform each of these exercises ten times a day.
(Note- Do not exercises if you are suffering with acute joint pains.)