Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis

Treatment of Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis

Treatment of Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis is approached from many levels. The underlying symptom is pain and inflammation. Managing the pain and inflammation can often be achieved through the use of NSAIDs such as as ibuprofen or naproxen. As the condition progresses more potent forms of these anti-inflammatories may be necessary. It should be noted that these medications can be irritating to the stomach and long-term use may result in kidney or cardiovascular damage.

Ice packs and moist heat can provide relief for the pain and discomfort of inflamed joints. Application of ice packs can produce a numbing effect and can dull the sensation of pain. Application of moist heat can help relax muscle spasms and reduce pain. There are several products available today that in one application can produce both the numbing effect of ice and the relaxation of pain from heat.

What is Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis?

Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis is generally a milder version of psoriatic arthritis. Usually involving fewer than 3 joints, it does not occur in the same joints on both sides of the body. Joints affected include the knee, hip, ankle, wrist or one or several fingers. Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis is diagnosed in approximately 70% of patients with psoriatic arthritis.

When involvement includes the hands or feet, the joints may have an enlarged sausage like appearance. The joints may be red, and feel warm and tender to the touch. One may also experience pain in the feet or ankles especially on the sole of the foot and in the achilles tendon. This associated pain may be relieved with anti-inflammatory NSAID's. As the condition progresses one may experience pain in the lower back and separation of the nail from the nail bed or pitting on the surface of the nails.

Cause of Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis

The exact cause of Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis remains unknown, but is believed to be a result of an immune system imbalance. An immune system imbalance may cause abnormal activity by T-cells in the skin. The role of the T-cells to fight off infection and disease. If the normal activity of the T-cells is disrupted, the T-cells may become hyperactive causing inflammation of the skin and increased cell production. These T-cells "attack" the skin and set off a cascade of events that make the skin cells multiply creating an inflamed appearance to the skin.

Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis equally affects both men and women. The onset of this condition usually begins around the age of 30 to 50 year of age, it can also occur in children.