Arthritis is inflammation in the joints. It involves the breakdown of cartilage, which normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on a joint, such as while walking. When there is less cartilage than normal, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. The inflammation in the joints usually dissipates once the cause of the arthritis is treated.
What causes Arthritis?
- An autoimmune disease- the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its healthy tissue
- Broken bones
- Pressure on joints
- Infection (bacterial or viral)
What are symptoms of Arthritis?
Arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement, and redness of the surrounding skin.
Arthritis is often associated with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis is a particular type of arthritis that usually affects middle-aged people from 35-55. The cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, but may result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune factors. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include red scaly skin in the affected areas and nail abnormalities are often present as well.
How does one test for Arthritis?
A physical exam will be performed in addition to your medical history being provided. The physical exam may show fluid around a joint, warm, red joints, limited range of motion, or even joint deformity. Blood tests and x-rays are commonly done to check for infection and other causes of arthritis. A sample of joint fluid may be extracted with a needle and sent to a lab for examination.
How is Arthritis treated?
In treatment, the goal is to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and prevent further joint damage. The underlying cause, though, cannot always be cured.
Exercise can help in several ways; it helps relieve stiffness, reduce pain, and improve muscle and bone strength. To develop an exercise program that is best for you, contact your health team, therapist or doctor.
Tips for patients with Arthritis
- Avoid putting any extra stress on your sore joints.
- Add things to your home to make activities easier. i.e. install grab bars in the shower, tub, and near the toilet.
- Try stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi.
- Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, which contain important vitamins and minerals.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, and herring), flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
- Apply capsaicin cream over your painful joints. You may feel improvement after applying the cream for 3-7 days.
- Weight loss can greatly improve joint pain in the legs and feet if you are overweight.
Is Your Arthritis Causing Psoriasis? Let Us Help You!
While arthritis alone is a painful condition, psoriasis makes it even more uncomfortable. If you are suffering from psoriasis, regardless of whether it is related to arthritis, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn your options. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts at treating psoriasis, offering the latest treatment methods. Our ten conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens, Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn/Albertson, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City, Westchester County, Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.