If you’re pressed for time, take a look at this section for the most common questions about psoriatic arthritis (PsA). If you’d like to dig deeper into any of the topics, just click on the links to jump to other parts of this website.
Psoriatic arthritis [pronounced sorr-eye-at-ick arth-rye-sis], also called PsA, is a chronic, or ongoing, immune-mediated inflammatory condition that affects the joints.1 Want to know more?
PsA can make some people withdrawn and self-conscious,2 but it might be better to be open and honest with others about it. It might feel daunting to have a tough conversation but could make things easier for you in the long run.
PsA may affect you physically and mentally.1,2 As well as causing tiredness, pain, stiffness (especially in the morning) and swelling, you may find it difficult to sleep and notice nail changes or even redness and pain in your eyes.1 It’s also common for people with PsA to feel depressed.3
PsA is a long-term condition with no cure, but that doesn’t mean you will always have symptoms.1,4 Everyone’s experience is different, and you may find that your symptoms are better at some time than others, or even seem to disappear for a while.5
You and your healthcare professional will decide what treatment is right for you, but the main ones used to treat PsA are systemic therapy (pills or injections that spread the medicine throughout the body) and biological therapy (injections or infusions made from protein).6-8
You’re twice as likely to suffer from depression with PsA than if you have psoriasis alone.3 Make sure you let your healthcare professional know how you’re really feeling – physically and emotionally.
PsA may affect your joints and your self-esteem, and this could affect your romantic life.9 If you have concerns that your symptoms aren’t improving, or if you’re feeling too unhappy to get close to someone, please speak to your doctor.10 We’ve put together some useful tips for having the conversation.
You might only have 10 minutes with your doctor, so it’s important to use it wisely. It might help to make a list of priorities you’d like to talk about, so if you run out of time, you know you’ll have covered your most important topics.
It can be tricky to see how much things change over time if you haven’t kept a record. Try our handy tracking sheet to monitor your progress every week and share the results with your doctor at your next appointment.
Be honest with your healthcare professional about you’re feeling. It might be daunting to speak up, and you may be worried about being left with no other treatment options,11 but there are many different treatments for PsA, and new ones being developed all the time.1,12 If he or she doesn’t know how you really are, you might not get the treatment that’s right for you. To show your doctor how you’re doing day-to-day, try completing a progress tracker regularly.
There are many people who suffer from PsA and will understand just what you’re going through.13 Your healthcare professional may be able to direct you to local or online groups where you can meet others with PsA, or you can try some larger organisations online.
It can be easy to lose track of how you’re doing if you don’t take note.
Discover what your options might be.
Exercise could help you manage your psoriatic arthritis.