Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Overview of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, a condition that features red patches of skin topped with silvery scales. PsA can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, and if left untreated, it can lead to joint damage. The condition can affect any part of the body, including the fingertips and spine, and can range from relatively mild to severe. At Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia (ARG), we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis to help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for our patients.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Joint Pain and Swelling: Pain and swelling in the joints, particularly in the fingers, toes, knees, and ankles.
  • Stiffness: Joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  • Swollen Fingers and Toes: Sausage-like swelling of the fingers and toes, known as dactylitis.
  • Skin and Nail Changes: Red patches of skin topped with silvery scales and changes in the nails, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed.
  • Fatigue: Chronic tiredness and low energy levels.
  • Eye Inflammation: Redness and pain in the eyes, known as uveitis.
  • Enthesitis: Pain at the sites where tendons and ligaments attach to bones.

Diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Physical Examination: Conducted by a rheumatologist at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia to check for joint swelling, skin and nail changes, and other symptoms of PsA.
  • Blood Tests:
    • Rheumatoid Factor (RF): Typically negative in PsA patients, helping to differentiate from rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP): Indicators of inflammation.
  • Imaging Tests:
    • X-rays: To detect joint damage and changes specific to PsA.
    • MRI and Ultrasound: To assess inflammation and early joint changes.

Treatment Options for Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Medications:
    • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
    • Corticosteroids: Fast-acting anti-inflammatory drugs for short-term use.
    • DMARDs: Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs to slow disease progression.
    • Biologic Agents: Targeted therapies that block specific pathways in the inflammatory process.
    • Immunosuppressants: Drugs such as methotrexate and cyclosporine to control the immune system.
  • Therapies:
    • Physical Therapy: Exercises to maintain joint flexibility and muscle strength.
    • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to manage daily activities and protect joints.
    • Infusion Therapy: Administered in our in-house infusion suite for medications requiring intravenous delivery.
  • Lifestyle Changes:
    • Exercise: Regular, low-impact activities such as swimming and walking.
    • Diet: A balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods.
    • Stress Management: Techniques such as yoga and meditation.
    • Skin Care: Proper skin care routines to manage psoriasis symptoms.
  • Surgical Options:
    • Joint Replacement Surgery: Replacing damaged joints with artificial ones.
    • Synovectomy: Removal of the inflamed joint lining.
    • Tendon Repair: Fixing damaged tendons around the joints.

Living with Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Managing Pain and Inflammation: Using medications, physical therapy, and adequate rest.
  • Joint Function and Mobility: Engaging in regular exercises and using assistive devices if needed.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Keeping up with appointments to monitor disease progression and treatment efficacy.
  • Medication Adherence: Taking prescribed medications as directed to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions | Psoriatic Arthritis

What causes psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder with an unknown exact cause. It is believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors.

How is psoriatic arthritis different from rheumatoid arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is associated with psoriasis and typically affects the skin and nails, while rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints.

Can lifestyle changes help manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms?
Yes, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, and following a balanced diet can help manage PsA symptoms and improve joint health.

What are the common triggers for psoriatic arthritis flares?
Common triggers include stress, infections, skin injuries, and certain medications.

Is psoriatic arthritis hereditary?
There is a genetic component to psoriatic arthritis, but having a family member with PsA or psoriasis does not guarantee that you will develop it.

What is the role of biologic agents in treating psoriatic arthritis?
Biologic agents help reduce inflammation by targeting specific pathways in the immune system, providing relief from symptoms and slowing disease progression.

How can I manage fatigue associated with psoriatic arthritis?
Managing fatigue involves balancing rest and activity, staying hydrated, eating a nutritious diet, and following your treatment plan.

Contact Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia

For comprehensive psoriatic arthritis care, schedule an appointment with Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia. Call us at 404-255-5956 or use our online contact form. We proudly serve patients in the metro Atlanta area and beyond, providing expert care and personalized treatment plans.

Scroll to Top