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How do I Choose the Best Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment?

By D. Jeffress
Updated May 17, 2024
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Psoriatic arthritis is a common autoimmune disorder that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling accompanied by outbreaks of dry, painful skin rashes. The disorder can cause significant discomfort and make even simple daily tasks such as typing and walking very difficult. There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but patients can usually manage their symptoms with the aid of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Home remedies, natural supplements, and healthy lifestyle choices can also bring some degree of relief. An individual can discuss psoriatic arthritis treatment options with his or her doctor to determine the best personal course of action to take.

For most people, psoriatic arthritis is not a constant or debilitating problem. It is common for symptoms to come and go with several days or even weeks between difficult episodes. People with mild symptoms can usually benefit from taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs during acute attacks. Ice packs and warm compresses can help to numb sore joints and relieve stiffness, respectively. In addition, it is important to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet, and keep the skin well moisturized with lotion to improve the body's resilience against joint and skin problems.

Several different alternative medicine supplements are advertised as psoriatic arthritis treatment solutions. Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural substances that are found in cartilage. Manufacturers of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements claim that taking daily doses can repair damaged cartilage tissue and prevent further wear. The effectiveness of the compounds has not been proven in official clinical trials, though many patients and doctors strongly believe in the potential benefits. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and other supplements and vitamins can be found at most health food stores, supermarkets, and online specialty retailers.

Prescription medications or surgery may be necessary if conservative psoriatic arthritis treatment methods fail to bring relief. A doctor can prescribe a high-strength anti-inflammatory drug and a medicated topical cream to combat symptoms. If joint inflammation is chronic and severe, the physician might inject a corticosteroid solution directly into the area to bring instant relief. Surgery is typically reserved for the most serious cases where arthritis has destroyed large sections of joint tissue.

It is important to speak with a doctor before trying any type of psoriatic arthritis treatment. A specialist can conduct a physical examination, take x-rays, and perform blood tests to make sure symptoms are related to psoriatic arthritis and not another condition such as osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis. After making an accurate diagnosis, the doctor can explain treatment options in detail and provide expert suggestions. By following a doctor's recommendations and sticking with a psoriatic arthritis treatment plan, an individual can usually enjoy longer symptom-free periods and less severe arthritic episodes.

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