Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Although there’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis, a variety of treatments can help relieve symptoms like pain and stiffness. Some treatments can even prevent further damage to the joints. The exact treatments you need will depend on the severity of your condition. Sometimes lifestyle changes alone can help ease symptoms. These include exercise (except during a flare, when it’s important to rest); heat therapy, such as a warm towel, bath, or shower; or cold therapy, such as a bag of ice or frozen vegetables on a painful joint. Splints or braces can reduce pain by keeping joints stable, and a physical or occupational therapist can show you how to perform everyday tasks in ways that put less strain your joints. For mild psoriatic arthritis, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (like Motrin and Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) may be enough to relieve pain. Another option is Celebrex (celecoxib), a stronger NSAID only available with a prescription. Corticosteroid injections into an inflamed joint can also help reduce pain. For more severe forms of psoriatic arthritis, doctors rely on stronger drugs, some of which may actually prevent joint damage—something pain relievers aren’t able to do. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can help reduce pain and swelling. Names of some DMARDs are: sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf), and leflunomide (Arava). Bioilogic therapies, such as anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs, are reserved for more severe cases of psoriatic arthritis, and can actually stop joint damage. These drugs are usually given by injection at home or by infusion in a doctor’s office. Examples of anti-TNF biologics include: adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi), certolizumab (Cimzia), and infliximab (Remicade). One of the newest biologics, secukinumab (Cosentyx), is a prescription medication that can help treat both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. People with very severe psoriatic arthritis who already have damaged joints may need joint replacement or joint fusion surgery to reduce pain and increase mobility.

I Rode My Harley Across the U.S. to Talk About Psoriatic Arthritis

In an effort to get the word out about how people in pain can get assistance, Goen rode his motorcycle across the lower 48 states talking about his psoriatic arthritis.

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