Arthritis— joint pain and swelling— is a common condition that affects 24% of all adults in the United States. Sometimes, arthritis can occur in one or more of the many joints found in your ankles and feet. However, not all kinds of arthritis are the same. Below, we’ll discuss the occurrence of psoriatic arthritis in feet so you can step right on the path of health and happiness.
What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Since there are more than 100 types of arthritis, it can be difficult to determine what type of arthritis is affecting your joints. Like other forms of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints in your body.
But unlike types of arthritis that are caused by wear and tear in your joints over time, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the skin, nails, and joints. This causes several symptoms that can gradually increase in severity. The good news is that there are management options to relieve pain and reduce swelling, and identifying the symptoms early on can help slow the disease progression.
What are the Early Warning Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?
Since advanced stages of psoriatic arthritis can cause changes to your joints, an increased risk of heart disease, and other serious conditions, it’s crucial not to ignore these early warning signs:
- “Sausage fingers.”
- Changes in your nails.
- Scaly patches of skin.
- Vision symptoms such as eye pain and redness.
- Painful and stiff joints.
- Difficulty moving.
Other warning signs include back pain and joint tenderness. Should your symptoms match those listed, consider speaking with your doctor.
Psoriatic Arthritis in the Feet
For those with PsA, it’s common to also experience symptoms in the feet. Common psoriatic arthritis feet problems include:
- Foot pain.
- Swelling in the toes (Dactylitis).
- Heel pain.
- Toenail appearance changes.
If you know that you have psoriatic arthritis, you should monitor your feet or toes for any changes. However, if you have these symptoms without a medical history of psoriatic arthritis, it may not mean that you have it. Other forms of arthritis— such as rheumatoid arthritis— can have similar effects.
What Is the Difference Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The part of the joint and which joints are affected can differ by the type of arthritis. There are four types of arthritis that can occur in your feet: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis and gout are not autoimmune diseases and their symptoms are pretty distinct.
However, PsA and Rheumatoid arthritis are both autoimmune diseases, and it can be tricky to tell them apart. The biggest difference between psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is that psoriatic arthritis typically causes the toes to swell like sausages and is often accompanied by scaly skin (psoriasis).
Negative Effects of Psoriatic Arthritis
PsA can cause difficulty in performing daily activities such as walking. There are also long-term effects including joint damage and organ damage. Without the right treatment plan, the disease could progress and cause permanent bone damage and hearing loss.
Remission Is Possible
With the right treatment options, the progression of the disease can be slowed to the point where your symptoms are minimal and you no longer have an increased risk of long-term effects.
Psoriatic Arthritis Foot Pain Treatment Options
Since diagnosing PsA early on can help you get the care you need sooner, it’s important to speak with your doctor if you think you may have signs of psoriatic arthritis.
Those with psoriatic arthritis foot pain often find relief through a treatment plan that may include:
- Hot and cold packs to reduce swelling.
- Exercises and stretches.
- Medication to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
The symptoms and severity of PsA vary by individual. That’s why it’s important to see your podiatrist if you experience foot pain, swelling, or general discomfort.
Don’t Toe the Line When It Comes to Psoriatic Arthritis Feet Pain
If you or a loved one suffers from psoriatic arthritis feet symptoms, you shouldn’t have to “put up with it.” Pain management options for this disease have come a long way. For help with PsA and all other foot and ankle troubles, schedule an appointment with Foot & Ankle Group today.