Psoriatic Arthritis - Treatment

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What is the treatment for psoriatic arthritis?

The treatment of the arthritis aspects of psoriatic arthritis is described below. The treatment of psoriasis and the other involved organs is beyond the scope of this article.

Generally, the treatment of arthritis in psoriatic arthritis involves a combination of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and exercise. If progressive inflammation and joint destruction occur despite NSAIDs treatment, more potent medications such as methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), corticosteroids, and antimalarial medications (such as hydroxychloroquine, or Plaquenil) are used.

Exercise programs can be done at home or with a physical therapist and are customized according to the disease and physical capabilities of each patient. Warm-up stretching, or other techniques, such as a hot shower or heat applications are helpful to relax muscles prior to exercise. Ice application after the routine can help minimize post-exercise soreness and inflammation. In general, exercises for arthritis are performed for the purpose of strengthening and maintaining or improving joint range of motion. They should be done on a regular basis for best results.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of medications that are helpful in reducing joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, indomethacin (Indocin), tolmetin sodium (Tolectin), sulindac (Clinoril), and diclofenac (Voltaren). Their most frequent side effects include stomach upset and ulceration. They can also cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Newer NSAIDs called COX-2 inhibitors (such as celecoxib or Celebrex) cause gastrointestinal problems less frequently.

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Comment from: Honey Lady, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I have taken Diclophenic since 2000 when I enter a clinical research project involving double blind test of pill and spray form. I take it after breakfast in the morning with great results. Recently I was diagnosed with psoriasis of the nails. My Dr. told me to wear gloves when doing housework, using water and always when gardening or beekeeping. My nails totally improved in 6 weeks. I also get lots of sun and use Voltaren gel in my painful joints. Good luck to you!

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Comment from: TIREDRN, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at age 31 after having my 2nd child. I was bedridden with severe knee swelling and pain. I was able to get Enbrel along with methotrexate. Vioxx was wonderful but taken off the market. I'm allergic to Celebrex due to a sulfa allergy. Also I have ulcers from NSAIDs. For the last 12 years I have done fairly well on my current medications along with Lortab one 1hr before I get up and one in the evening.

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