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Four Less Common Types of Arthritis

By EmpowHER
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Psoriatic Arthritis

An estimated one in 20 individuals who suffer from psoriasis, a common, chronic skin condition characterized by red patches, develop this type of arthritis. The cause is unknown, but genetics is thought to play a significant role. Joint swelling, tenderness and skin sores are signs of psoriatic arthritis. Sometimes, the symptoms are mild and involve a few joints, particularly the joints at the ends of the fingers and toes. In other cases, symptoms are severe and involve many other joints, especially the spine. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis of the spine include stiffness and burning and pain, generally in the lower back and sacrum. Frequently, there are skin and nail changes with psoriasis, which can worsen. A physician will often prescribe NSAIDs or salicylates to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs are used to treat severe cases. TNF blockers are the latest treatment that block an inflammatory protein. Steroid injections are another treatment option. In rare cases, joint replacement surgery is necessary. Rest, physical therapy and the use of cold/heat applications are recommended in conjunction with the use of medications. In general, the prognosis is good when only a few joints are mildly affected. In limited cases of severe psoriatic arthritis of the hands, feet and spine, deformities can result.

Photo: Getty Images

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