Severe Joint Pain From Psoriatic Arthritis

Written by Kimberly Clark
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Psoriatic arthritis usually precedes or follows an outbreak of some form of the chronic skin condition psoriasis. Unfortunately, years can pass by without a flare-up before any pain or swelling is noticed in the joints. Since those diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis rarely have to deal with the symptoms that afflict the skin, the chief objective of any treatment plan for psoriatic arthritis should focus primarily on reducing the swelling and inflammation in the joints. This in essence will stave off the onset of any joint pain, from psoriatic arthritis.

Prescription Drugs to Help Joint Pain

If severe joint pain does develop, powerful disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs are typically prescribed. These drugs reputedly reduce the speed at which the disease progresses and ultimately delays the damage to the joints. Joints that are particularly painful may require direct injections of steroidal medicines into aching joints.

Treatment with steroidal medications is generally not considered a long term solution. Steroid use carries with it several side effects associated with prolonged use. Those side effects include high blood pressure, diabetes, thinning bones, cataracts, and reduced resistance to infections.

However, abruptly discontinuing the use of the steroids can also cause psoriatic lesions to break out the skin. For this reason, doctors generally prescribe a regimen of oral steroids, stepping down the dosages as the symptoms subside in hopes of avoiding the side effects. In more extreme cases, surgery is required to reconstruct or replace damaged joints.

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