Free yourself from psoriatic arthritis symptoms and get healthy with Encinitas, CA treatments
Around 15 percent of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA), according to the American College of Rheumatology. Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition that commonly features red patches and silvery scales on the skin. PsA affects joints on one or both sides of the body, and the pain and swelling often resembles another autoimmune disease: rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms and Treatments in Encinitas, CA
Unlike RA, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to produce sausage-like swelling of the fingers and toes. Patients may develop deformities in the hands and feet before having significant joint-related symptoms. Foot pain tends to affect points where the tendons and ligaments connect to the bones, especially toward the back of the heels and the soles of the feet. Additionally, PsA patients can experience lower back pain, primarily characterized by inflamed joints between the vertebrae of the spine and joints between the spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis).
Board-certified Rheumatologist Dr. Peter Lloyd of Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center will evaluate your symptoms and, if he determines you have PsA, one or a combination of the following treatment options may be recommended:
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) – Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Some patients may require stronger prescription medications.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) – Methotrexate (Trexall®), leflunomide (Arava®) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®) are designed to slow the progression of PsA and save the joints and tissues from damage.
- Immunosuppressants – Azathioprine (Azasan®) and cyclosporine (Neoral®) can help to get PsA sufferers’ immune systems under control.
- Biologic agents or response modifiers – A newer class of DMARDs (such as adalimumab or Humira®) target the specific parts of the immune system responsible for inflammation and joint damage
- Oral medications – Apremilast or Otezla® targets the enzyme that controls the cell activity associated with inflammation.
- Steroid injections – Dr. Lloyd precisely injects a medication tailored to your needs into the affected joints, which helps to reduce inflammation (and it can provide immediate pain relief).
- Lifestyle changes – Patients may be advised to protect their joints, either with the help of assistive devices or techniques to help avoid strains when opening doors or undergoing other daily tasks. Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco helps to keep joints flexible, muscles strong, and can increase the effectiveness of medications while reducing the risk of potential side effects.
Dr. Lloyd will discuss the pros and cons of the many available treatment options during an evaluation at the Encinitas, CA office of Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center. To schedule, call 760-509-2429.