Making a diagnosis for arthritis is not always easy. With all the symptoms the condition exhibits, physicians sometimes have a hard time narrowing things down. Even worse is the fact that there are different types of arthritis. One of the most common is Psoriatic Arthritis. It does not have the same media presence as osteoarthritis, but it can still be very debilitating.
Does an Early Diagnosis Really Matter with Psoriatic Arthritis?
According to Dr. Matteson, (who is the chairperson of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester), an early diagnosis does matter.
He says that when Psoriatic Arthritis is diagnosed early, patients are less likely to develop long-term damage. This is especially the case if a diagnosis can be made within the first two months of the disease’s initial onset.
Things are even more hopeful if the condition is diagnosed in the first month, though this becomes more challenging. Depending on a person’s age and general mindset, they might dismiss their pains as being the normal aches you get when you enter your Golden Years.
However, this is the type of thinking doctors warn against. If you suffer an extreme, debilitating pain for no reason, you need to get yourself checked out. It does not matter if you are 20 or 80; at some point continuous pain is not normal. Remember, even though arthritis is often seen as an older person™s disease, you do not have to keep suffering. Psoriatic arthritis treatment drugs will help you manage your condition.
With that said, if you have irritated skin and joint pain, you might be suffering with the condition. Osteoarthritis normally affects the joint, but Psoriatic Arthritis is actually the result of psoriasis, a condition where the skin develops rashes and scales. Why this affects the joints is unknown in the medical community. Doctors just know that there is a connection. So, if you have psoriasis, you could develop this condition at any stage in your life.
Anyway, if you have skin irritation and joint pain, doctors will look at your age and whether or not you officially have psoriasis. If you are under 60, you probably just have Psoriatic Arthritis. The same could also be true for someone older, but doctors would have to rule out other factors before making an official determination.
Now, you might be wondering if there is the possibility that you could have psoriasis but not have the arthritis associated with it. Yes, this is entirely possible. If the pain is centered on one joint, you might have gout. This is a condition caused by overproduction of uric acid, a substance that irritates the joints in your feet, (due to crystallization).
Psoriatic arthritis treatment options will not work if you have gout, as the main cause of the problem is different.
Then there is the possibility that you could have osteoarthritis, with no connection to your psoriases. This would not be as common, as usually the skin irritation signifies Psoriatic Arthritis. But if it did happen, it would be the result of cartilage deterioration. And again, a different treatment option would have to be pursued.
Now again, making these determinations by yourself would be difficult, but Psoriatic Arthritis usually carries prominent symptoms. Red skin and joint irritation have already been mentioned, but you should also be aware of dactylitis.
Also known as œsausage fingers, dactylitis is a condition that mutates the fingers due to swelling and inflammation. So if this condition is present, doctors will assume you are suffering with Psoriatic Arthritis.
Symmetry matters too. If you are experiencing pain on 1 side of your body and not the other, you probably have Psoriatic Arthritis. If your pain is symmetrical, you might be suffering with rheumatoid arthritis
Finally, there is the amount of time that your pain lasts. Unfortunately, Psoriatic Arthritis creates a lingering pain that does not go away. With the other arthritic conditions, pain is often lessened if you relax the area. There may also be periods where there is no pain at all. Psoriatic Arthritis does not work that way unless you get treatment.
In conclusion, do not dismiss the possibility of Psoriatic Arthritis if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible, so you will get the treatment your body needs.