Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown. Genetics, the immune system, and environmental factors, such as infections, may contribute to this type of arthritis.

What are the symptoms?

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that can affect any joint in the body, and the symptoms can differ from person to person. It can develop gradually with mild symptoms or appear suddenly and be severe. The most common symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints, pain and stiffness in the buttocks, lower back, or neck (also known as spondylitis, which means inflammation of the spine), pain in tendons, such as at the back of the heel or sole of the foot (tendons are the strong cords that attach muscles to bones), changes in nails, such as thickening, colour change, or separation from the skin, and pain and redness in the eyes.

What is the treatment?

Although there is no cure, treatment for psoriatic arthritis has dramatically improved with new medications that effectively manage the condition.

The treatment for arthritis depends on the level of pain, swelling or stiffness experienced by the individual and aims to reduce pain and inflammation while preventing long-term joint damage. Mild arthritis flares can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Corticosteroid injections can also help alleviate pain and swelling in the affected joint. If NSAIDs do not alleviate arthritis symptoms, your rheumatologist may prescribe disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like sulfasalazine, methotrexate, or leflunomide.


If you are suffering from severe arthritis, there are a range of biologic medications that you can try, including adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab. Additionally, for psoriatic arthritis, there are other biologics available such as secukinumab, ixekizumab, ustekinumab, and guselkumab. Oral medications like tofacitinib, upadacitinib and apremilast have also been shown to be effective. Your rheumatologist will assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you.