Patient Comments: Psoriatic Arthritis - Describe Your Experience

Question:

Please describe your experience with psoriatic arthritis. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Mumof2, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 15

After giving birth, psoriatic arthritis kicked in full swing. I have experienced itching since 12, but this had to be the worst of times; lower back pain so intense that I felt paralyzed for 15 to 20 minutes, and itching so bad I scratched until my skin bled. And then the swollen joints and tendons. I felt like a freak. I won't give up and I hope that those who read this won't either. My journey has been a constant search for anything that can help me alleviate this itch and this pain. I found out about hemp lotion from my brother. It is something I cannot live without now. It numbs that rash and that skin peeling pain from scratching persistently. For arthritis I use bay leaf laurel oil (Laurus nobilis), I have diligently applied it on my skin and it has brought the swelling and pain down! I am not hear to sell anything. My heart breaks for everyone on here who is going through this as I did. It doesn't hurt to try. And don't give up. This disease does not own us.

Comment from: GuineaPigPotter, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I've had scalp psoriasis since I was about nine years old, but it wasn't diagnosed until recently, at my age of 34. My mother has psoriasis all over and is suffering with psoriatic arthritis in her hands, feet, and terribly in her spine, but she got the symptoms of arthritis over a decade later than I have, and my pain is everywhere. I was a Thai boxer and a ceramic artist, and now, I hobble like a 100 year old granny. My arthritis is symmetrical and merciless. My toes, ankles, hands, wrists, shoulders, elbows, spine, and my hips all sing grand opera. I have disc degeneration in my whole spine, as well as a ton of disc herniation and sciatica. But, my hips, they feel like abscessed teeth chewing on rusty nails. The pain is so bad that hydrocodone 10 mg and Percocet won't touch it, and I cry myself to sleep almost every night. I don't understand why my arthritis is so much more aggressive than my mom's when her skin symptoms are so much worse! I am going to the rheumatologist next month, and hoping that I can get some relief. I'm too young for this nonsense and I want my life back!

Comment from: Danielle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I have had psoriasis on elbows and knees and scalp since I was 16. Then 2 years ago when I was 48 I got swellings on my ankles and wrists. I was finally told I had psoriatic arthritis for which I have been taking naproxen which seemed to calm it down, but I felt extremely tired. When only working 3 days a week I was having to go to bed on the fourth day. I know I have arthritis in my neck but have been given exercises to do and if that does not work I will be referred to a specialist for physiotherapy. Apparently my great grandmother was crippled with arthritis from the age of 26 so my condition may be inherited.

Comment from: Hopeful, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 05

I am a 35 year male. I had psoriasis from the age of 12 or 13 with it reappearing at the age of 20. It still is here today after 15 years. At about the age of 30, I started having terrible back pain (sciatica like symptoms). Just last summer, I started having pain in my left knee and some of my other joints, along with the back pain. I finally found a family doctor who linked the psoriasis with the pain and set me up with a rheumatologist. I just started Humira a month ago. I haven't noticed any relief from the pain but I have noticed my psoriasis getting better. To all of you out there with this terrible disease, please keep your head up. Stay hopeful. Try to keep yourself going by exercising because it does help, just remember not to overdo it like me. I try to exercise too much then end up making my pain worse and then I can't exercise.

Comment from: Dieselgem, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

Thinking back over the last 7 to 9 years, I was gradually getting symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, but had no idea what it was. In 2010 my beautiful Mum passed away and my stress level went through the roof. I fell in December of that year and dislocated and shattered my shoulder. I've never recovered from then on. I spent many days talking to general physicians about how much I hurt and have been given tramadol for pain. It wasn't till last October when I got to see a pain specialist who sent me off for a barrage of tests and gave me prednisone that I started to get relief. He sent me to my rheumatologist who diagnosed me. So here I am 3 months on, had to stop the prednisone as it made me sick, and tried MTX (methotrexate). It gave me massive headaches and stomach ache. I have gone on to Arava, but it doesn't seem to have done anything after 4 weeks. In fact I think I've got more pain; ankles are swollen, knees too and ache so bad. Fingers and hands ache and are swollen (not bad like I have seen, but bad enough for me) and my rings don't fit any more. And the people in my family think I'm just being lazy, or trying to get out of things; they don't care or be bothered to understand. I don't know where I go from here.

Comment from: Denise, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

I am a 58 year old woman and do not have a rash, but I do feel bumps on my skin and I am always very itchy. I have had issues on the left side of my body, specifically very bad lower back pain which has been diagnosed as dysfunctional SI (sacroiliac joint). I also have bad shoulder pain which causes shooting pain down my arm. Both of these symptoms are on the left side. One year ago, I lost the hearing in my left ear, sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL). I have wondered if all of this is related. I wonder if this could be psoriatic arthritis.

Comment from: Cindy t., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

Five years ago I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I had terrible scalp itching. I have neuropathy in feet and developed foot ulcers which became infected with MRSA. I went on home after which I've became severely allergic with high fever and hives. I haven't been able to clear up foot ulcers, and I have been to many doctors. No one will let me be on any medicine because of wounds. Several weeks ago I started having severe low back pain as well as knee, shoulder, and finger pain and swelling. Rheumatologist is sending me for more x-rays blood work. I also have granuloma annulare, an itchy skin disease. No one thinks it's related but I do! I can't get any solid answers. Wondered if anyone else could relate or help! I'm so fatigued and need some support or new insight into all of this!

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Comment from: Busygirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

I've had psoriasis since I was 5 years old, on my knees, elbows, and scalp. Then last year I developed a painful shoulder that was diagnosed as frozen shoulder. Six months ago my feet started burning at night and would keep me awake at night. I went to my general physician who referred me to a rheumatologist, who after a month of testing, announced I have PSA and was HLA B27 positive. I was started on Remicade 8 weeks ago and have had zero relief. The pain is now in my hands, wrists, feet, ankles, Achilles tendons and cervical spine. The only other med I take is Motrin as nothing else seems to work and the tramadol made me itch like crazy. I have to keep moving all the time in order to not freeze up.

Comment from: Rhonda j, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I always had a bad scalp and crusty stuff behind my ears. At the age of 23 I got strep throat and had a full body outbreak of psoriasis. My brother had this 6 years before me after a spider bite. At the age of 34 I started falling apart. I painted my pre-kindergarten classroom and the next day I could barely walk. Gabapentin and meloxicam were prescribed. It got a little better, then my jaw started hurting real bad, along with my feet. Eventually my hip joined in; then my fingers and my fingernails started separating from my nail bed. With all of the hurting I blamed it on age and maybe depression - remember "depression hurts - Cymbalta can help?" Well, I tried Cymbalta and no, it didn"t help. I went to another family practitioner and he did blood work and confirmed that it is psoriatic arthritis. I thought finally I know that it"s not in my head - there is something wrong. My inflammation level was double what it should be. After being on Humira and methotrexate, and hydrocodone which I only take when it"s unbearable, it worked for about 3 months but here I am with the hurting worse than what it ever was. Now I am back at square one but even worse and I went to my rheumatologist today, and nope, no magic cure.

Comment from: KC, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

My psoriatic arthritis started at age 42 with a rash behind my ears, followed by one swollen finger. Weird! Then another finger, with pain always worse in the morning. This went on for months. One day I woke up, and it was in my right jaw. That"s when I got scared because I couldn"t open my mouth to get a toothbrush in there! I went to a rheumatologist, and was started on methotrexate but couldn"t handle the side effects. I"ve been on Humira now for 6 weeks, and the improvement was dramatic and life-changing. I now realize just how exhausted I really was from this disease. I didn"t even know how bad I felt until I felt better. I estimate that I was gradually getting sick for 2 years, in retrospect. I started exercising again after 2 years, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I am back to my old self, healthy and active, lots of energy, amazing!

Comment from: GET ACTIVE, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 5 years ago after countless referrals to doctors for knee problems, joint pain, fatigue, etc. You need to advocate for yourself you know your body best. After being sent to a knee specialist, the OT (occupational therapist) said she thought it was a good idea for me to go to the "Arthritis Society" and see another OT. She saved my life and hooked me up with a proper doctor. The self-administered needles and medications that I took mad me sick for 4 years but held my pain and inflammation at bay, which I was grateful for. It enabled me to get active! Three months ago I was introduced to "Melt Method" and my life has yet had another crossroads. I have been needle free for 3 months with no more pain or inflammation than when I was on my methotrexate and V12. I still take my Apo-Naproxen. It has been a long painful journey from the pain of the disease to working though pain at the gym doing Pilates, weights, and toning. If you have psoriatic arthritis bottom line is, it is going to hurt! You must work though that and be active every day. It gets easier. I went from not being able to sleep, do my job properly, chronic pain, to cross-country skiing, Pilates, and doing tai chi, I am 51 years old now and live with less pain which is gradually dissipating. It may hurt to get active, but trust me it will hurt even more if you are not! Good luck with your journey.

Comment from: Rob, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 10

I am a 43 year old male. I was diagnosed with PA (psoriatic arthritis) about 10 years ago. It first manifested itself in the genital area which wigged me out; then my back and behind my ears. Then it was arthritis soon after, when my left foot swelled up to twice the size as my right. I tried methotrexate but it made me feel awful. I just started triamcinolone for my skin and pop 3 ibuprofen as soon as I get up, to dull the pain in my joints. My joint pain jumps around and currently resides in my ankles and a knee. I don't have it as bad as a lot of you out there and empathize with you. I work on my feet which helps the joints stay warm.

Comment from: missy1987, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

I was diagnosed at 16 after a year of going from doctor to doctor telling me I was clumsy and the pain that was keeping me from walking was due to stubbing my toes, etc. I went to one final doctor who took one look and sent me to a specialist who I have been seeing for 10 years. I have been on and off of methotrexate since the beginning. I took Enbrel for about two years, Humira for about three and Cimzia about four years. I have been on IV Remicade for the past years along with methotrexate with no major psoriatic outbreaks for about five years. The pain when it does arise can usually be subsided with OTC pain relievers. However on the occasion of the crippling pain the OTC medicine doesn't even touch. My doctor refuses to prescribe medicine for pain management, claiming my young age (26), that I am too young to have pain medication readily available.

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Comment from: elizabeth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I have had psoriasis since 21 years old. I was 55 years old when I started to get severe pains in my hands and feet, I felt like I was walking on sharp stones. My general physician sent me to a rheumatologist and I was put on numerous medication but nothing helped. I felt like I was banging my head on a brick wall and my specialist didn't seem to believe what I was saying because nothing was showing up in the tests he was doing. But after an outbreak of psoriasis I was finally diagnosed, but it had been 2 years of extreme frustration. I couldn't tolerate some of the medication I was given, but I am now on sulphasalazine, amitriptyline and co-dydramol and doing reasonably okay. But the psoriatic arthritis is now affecting my tendons in my feet so I am going to see a physiotherapist and hope they can help.

Comment from: Barbara, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I was diagnosed with psoriasis at 15 months. I was checked for rheumatoid arthritis at age 17. No RF (rheumatoid factor) was seen so the doctor told me it was in my head. I was formally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at age 44. I was put on methotrexate and ibuprofen 600 mg 3 times per day. Then I progressed to Humira (severe headaches), Enbrel and Remicade I.V. (It damaged my vagus nerve and caused my intestines to not work efficiently). For pain, I am on OxyContin 60mg 4times per day and use Norco 10/325 for breakthrough pain. Summers and warm climates are best and now that winter is almost here I remain inside most of my days... feel like a prisoner. Every biological caused at the least infections, many infections; at the worst, lengthy hospital stays. My feet, hands, wrists, elbows, and spine are affected. It is just beginning to get into my right hip and I get Supartz injected into my knees. I am trying really hard to keep walking with no cane. I was in a wheelchair for two years… and escaped. It was very hard, took a long time and required discipline and patience, but I am walking.

Comment from: mel, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 24

I have had psoriatic arthritis for years. I took gold shots and was in remission for 30 years, and 3 years after stopping the shots.

Comment from: grady, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I have arthritis I have been suffering with. I am in pain so bad that I wish I were dead. I take Dilaudid 240 4mg tabs /month and morphine 90 60 6o mgs/month. My legs are often giving way and I have broken my wrist and shoulder several times. I am an artist who used to sell 50 or more paintings a year. My ankles and feet swell up. I do all the right things and still am only functional 2 or 3 days/week. I have a caregiver who shares my home otherwise I would not be able to get out of a chair.

Comment from: HappyNanny, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am 60 and after years of pain and being dismissed as a hypochondriac I finally was diagnosed with PA (psoriatic arthritis). I tried Plaquenil but it messed me and my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) up. I left a message with my doctor today and I may have to start methotrexate next. I have been told it is an immunosuppressant drug. I work in health care so I am concerned that it will make me more likely to pick up bugs either at work or from my 6 wonderful grandchildren.

Comment from: staying strong, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I have had psoriatic arthritis since the age of 11 diagnosed as soft tissue growing pain. At the age of 60 finally I had a correct diagnosis after repeatedly attempting to relay to doctors the extent of my pain. I cried myself to sleep with leg and joint pains for many years. Now I am on Enbrel, methotrexate and Salazopyrine. I have chronic atrial fibrillation and am on heart medication as well as for spondylitis.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I was diagnosed at age 23 with psoriatic arthritis. I worked night shift as a nurse at the time. I fought the pain for 2 months before going to my doctor to get some relief. After diagnosing myself through some Internet searching, I was referred to a Rheumatologist who started me one sulfasalizine to begin and ketoprofen. The sulfa did not help so I am currently on Methotrexate. I thought it was working but just about 3 weeks ago my knee and 2 additional toes are swelling. Meanwhile I have been moved to day shift and still pulling 12 hour + shifts. I know someday I will not be able to work them, and the time is becoming closer. I love nursing and I cry when I have to hobble in pain to see my patients thinking I need to be a patient myself.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I first started with psoriasis near my 50th birthday. I did not end up with psoriatic arthritis until about 4 years later. My psoriasis at times has been severe with pustules on my palms and feet, making it difficult to walk or use my hands for work. I was treated with Soriatane which helped, but I lost my hair. About three years after the Soriatane the psoriasis returned full force and so did the psoriatic arthritis. I was then treated with methotrexate, which helped but now everything is flaring up again including my Achilles tendon. I strove to lose weight and have lost 28 lbs. which helps the arthritis and I eat mostly vegetables and fruits and low gluten grains. I am allergic to fish, so I cannot eat that. I eat very little meat, only chicken (turkey makes my psoriasis flare). I do Yoga every day and take long walks. Having retired last year at 62, has relieved some of the stress and I am mostly able to manage my symptoms with only OTC drugs. The psoriasis condition does run in my family, starting with my grandparents on both sides. We also have many auto immune conditions in our family, including Hashimoto' s, Lupus and RA.

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Comment from: Pat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I am 69, female, and in relatively good health. I was shocked in April when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I had been accepting the deformity and weakness in my hands as part of old age and been 'fighting back' with increased exercise of my hands - not good I learned due to the inflammation. A doctor treating my mother suggested there may be a treatment for me and I saw a rheumatologist as soon as possible who immediately put me on methotrexate 10 mg, folic acid 1 mg. She increased it a month later to 15 mg & 2 mgs. Four months later she added Enbrel 50 mgs. and now I face the new alerts about side effects in the media. I have increased agility, but I suspect the disease is beginning to affect my feet and I am desperate to stop the progression and maintain use of my hands. I can't seem to learn enough and I am grateful for all who have shared here.

Comment from: Donna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed with PA 11 yrs. ago at age 48. I have suffered with it mainly in my feet. I feel like I'm walking on hot, pointed, burning rocks and have spent a zillion dollars on 12 different meds and shoes and nothing has given me relief. I am waiting now for the results of an MRI and hopefully will get on a new treatment as I have been med free for over a year. I worked up until 2 yrs. ago and still am in pain all day from the second. I wake up and get out of bed and stand up. It really is exhausting - I go every 3 weeks for massage and chiropractor for my back. I certainly can relate and empathize with everyone that has this cruel disease.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I am a 29-year-old woman who was diagnosed with PsA about three years ago. I have had mild -moderate psoriasis since I was 14. I started experiencing debilitating pain in most of my joints when I was 22 and just starting my professional career. I endured a couple of years of testing, misdiagnosis, and doctors who implied I was faking it. Since I started seeing my current rheumatologist, I have tried a number of different medications including Naproxen, Mobic, Sulindac. My current treatment has worked best - Methotrexate 20mg, Enbrel, and Celebrex. The side effects can be bad, but keeping some anti-nausea medication around usually helps. I still find that the pain limits my activity to a huge degree. I find myself exhausted from the constant discomfort after being up and about for a couple of hours. I had been using prn medications for pain (Vicodin). I was able to return to work while taking the pain medications - without it, I was so distracted by the pain. I recently switched to a round-the-clock pain medication delivered through a patch that I wear for 72 hours. I have found that this patch keeps me pain free, doesn't make me feel “drugged,” and is so easy compared to constantly popping pain pills (which makes me feel like a drug addict). I'm hopeful that I'm going to be able to keep moving towards the kind of life a young person is supposed to have, not limited by my achy hips, unable to drive because of my immobile shoulder.

Comment from: Denise, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at age 22 after the birth of my first child. The arthritis came first, followed by whole body psoriasis. Over the years this condition has come and gone, but never gone completely. Now, at age 63 I have a major flare up of the arthritis but only a small persistent patch of psoriasis. I am questioning whether this latest flare up is as a result of Thyroxin. I have Hypothyroidism and had no trouble with the Thyroxin until the formula changed this year. The arthritic flare up this year co-incided with the change in Thyroxin.

Comment from: Ginger, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I had an outbreak of psoriatic arthritis after I went on the meat-intensive Scars Dale diet. A rheumatologist prescribed Naproxen for a short time and then Motrin. This relieved the pain and swelling substantially. Then I went to the seashore, ate only fish for a week, and forgot to take the Motrin. All pain vanished. Since then, several decades, I limit beef and turkey servings to 3 or 4 a week and eat plenty of fish. If I pig out on meat, I feel it. I don't know if this would work as well for everyone, but it does for me. No side effects of medicine, and the diet is overall healthier.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

I developed psoriatic arthritis fairly suddenly two years ago. I had scalp psoriasis for a couple of years previously but had not seen a doctor about it. I began to suffer extreme fatigue and had a checkup with no particular findings. About two weeks later, I started experiencing severe pain in my shoulders, back and hips and was bedridden within a week. I was referred to a rheumatologist. I had continuing pain in my back, shoulders, and hips with off- and-on pain in my knees and feet. I had swollen fingers (that weirdly didn't hurt), and psoriasis in one toenail, with that nail detaching almost completely. I have worked my way through various combinations of prednisone, pain medications, Methotrexate, Enbrel and Humira. I am currently seeing some good results with Methotrexate and Humira.

Published: July 31

I have learned people have so many different experiences with PsA. The range of symptoms is very wide, as is the severity. While exercise can be helpful, at some point in the disease manageent, some peple experience flares too severe to exercise and need to get some control of pain and inflammation first, before restarting/continuing exercising. It is very important that people acknowledge these differences in personal stories/experiences. I am one to like exercise. However, when I am crippled with a severe relapse, I cannot possibly exercise, as I cannot even walk, lift a glass/cup, bathe, dress, etc. The pain is excruciating, even with treatments. I hope medical research continues as we need better (and safer) treatment options than are currently available to us! Blessings to all... those suffering with PsA, and those supporting their beloved family memebrs, friends with this extremely painful condition! : )

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Published: June 25

At 57, I have had psoriasis most of my life. Many topicals I've used, but no relief until methotrexate perhaps 10 years ago. It worked very well to clear most patches. Seeking a more perfect cure and fear of possible liver damage led me to try Enbrel. This too worked, but did not clear patches on calf of each leg. I tried Remicade and this failed after three moths with major onset of psoriasis like I haven't seen since before the methotrexate years ago. Both legs and body were quickly involved. Along with this attack and for the first time has come the rheumatoid arthritis in both my feet. I am back on methotrexate. I have seen a podiatrist and am heading for a rheumatologist.

Comment from: scouterlorraine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I was a healthy active woman, I walked the dog one night, did a few household chores- felt fine, went to bed woke up in the morning my knees were the size of basketballs and I couldn't walk. I went to emergency and they drained 1 knee and started treating me for gout, the next day was even worse, I was back at the hospital for x-rays and blood work, ultrasound- they did know what was happening because it was so sudden, I finally saw a specialist after the critical phase, so I have to wait for a flare up to be treated, any suggestions in the mean time some days my hands hurt, other its my feet or back, nothing I have tried so far has worked.

Comment from: Claire, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I am a 31-year-old woman who has had psoriatic arthritis for seven years now. I have been on sulfasalazine for a couple of years, then I was put on methotrexate (10 tabs a week) for four years. I am now on the etanercept and it's like a miracle. It is so, so good and easy to use. I wish I was offered it seven years ago, as I struggled terribly being a single parent with a 3-year-old son, trying to have as normal a life as I could. I have always worked through having it although it was awful and the tiredness killed me. I have been on it for eight months. I am able to go to the gym three or four times a week. I work more hours now in my job and even play games with my son in the park. I would highly recommend it, although the side effects are bad. I try to put them to the back of my mind, and as long as I get my blood tested every four weeks, I should be fine.

Published: July 18

I was diagnosed at the age of 21 with psoriatic arthritis. I didn't have the skin condition and still rarely get any rash. I had surgery on my hands at the age of 22 to regain movement due to synovial inflammation. I currently take 25mg of Methotrexate and 10mg of Arava a week with 500mg a day of Celebrex, without these I'd be stuffed. I find rigorous exercise of huge benefit a few hours before bed to help with movement upon waking. Hot showers work very well and a positive attitude. It hurts, but allowing it to rule and dictate all of life's activities hurts more.

Published: July 15

I'm a 26-year-old female who was diagnosed with psoriasis at age 22. The patches were insane. I was cured with cortisone hormones, and it all went away. Then it all came back, but much worse and I developed the arthritis quickly and painfully. I have been on Humira for the past seven months and the patches have all disappeared, leaving a slight white mark, but completely smooth. Due to the harsh side effects of Humira, I developed a cold that was pretty awful and was not able to inject the Humira for nearly a month, and so the patches started again, along with the pain. I have been back on it for about a month now and things are looking better. Good luck to everyone!

Published: June 25

I am a 58-year-old male that had swelling and tenderness in my joints for about five to six years before it got so bad that I had to see a doctor. He ruled out lupus and after blood tests, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I had a reaction to methotrexate and ultimately was placed on Enbrel. The affected areas were my fingers, elbows, wrists, hips and feet-in addition to mild psoriasis on my skin. The Enbrel made a big difference and improved my overall well-being greatly. Unfortunately, after a couple of years of treatment, I had a reaction to it (red blotches similar to allergic reaction) and had to stop taking it.

Published: June 18

I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 7. The chicken pox activated it. Suddenly, at the age of 17, the arthritis kicked in. It got to the point that about 75% of my body was covered with patches, and I was in a wheelchair. Every movement was unbearable. By 20, I was introduced to Enbrel by my doctor. I now only have a few on and off out brakes of patches a year, and I am able to move around much like I used to! Of course, it's not the same, I have my limitations, but my life is MUCH better!

Published: June 17

I am a 39 year old female. A couple of years ago, I developed painful red bumps on the joints of my fingers on both hands. One of my index fingers swelled like a sausage. I also developed horrible pain in my jaw, pain in my wrists, and numbness in one arm. I was being treated by a dermatologist who did not know what was wrong with me. I eventually saw a rheumatologist. About a year ago, I started on Methotrexate weekly and Prednisone daily and felt wonderful. I was weaned off of the medication to see if my pain had gone into remission. As soon as the Methotrexate was out of my system, the pain returned. I was started on a lower dose of Methotrexate, but immediately began experiencing dizziness. My medication was switched to Leflunomide about two months ago. My pain has become worse and I am now having daily pain and numbness in my feet, as well as shortness of breath and occasional diarrhea, in addition to the pain in my hands and wrists and numbness in my arm. I've had severe inflammation of one of my eyes and was told it was related to my arthritis. I am returning to my rheumatologist a month earlier than my scheduled appointment this week to see if I can figure out what is going on and possibly change medications. I have taken Aleve, Celebrex, and Arthrotec, but none have provided much relief.

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Published: June 16

I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 22. I became covered from head to toe with large patches. I was frustrated and embarrassed, but through many trials of creams and ointments I was able to get things under control. At the age of 30 I noticed stiffness and swelling in my hands and feet and a general sense of fatigue. After a year of suffering through what I thought was just stress related ailments, I went and saw a rheumatologist. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at the age of 31. It has been 5 years now and I am constantly trying new medicines and treatments. I am never pain free, but I have good days and bad ones. Currently my arthritis has moved into my spine and is causing me serious problems and pain. If anyone has some new miraculous idea for me I would love to hear it! I have tried it all!

Published: June 11

I am 56 and I contacted the disease about a week before my 56 birthday. I got the rash first and since I am allergic to Poison Ivy, I thought that was what it was. Went to my MD and received a heavy injection of Prednisone. Three days later I was rushed to the hospital by Ambulance unable to move my arms or legs and unable to sit up. I had no been able to drink for three days with, my throat so swollen. I was very scared, no had a clue what was wrong with. I was given morphine injections which really didn't help. They released me from the hospital the next day, still no knowing what was wrong. I went home and three days later returned to the ER, with uncontrollable pain and swelling all over my body, my fingers looked like sausages and if they were to swell any more but fingers would burst open. The ER doctor gave me Decadron IV, which really helped and he told me I had Psoriatic Arthritis but my Rheumatologist would have to treat me. I saw my Rheumatologist and he has me on Methotrexate 7.5 mgm weekly and folic acid 1 mgm daily. So far I am doing better, except that I am extremely tired. Acquiring this new autoimmune disease has made my other one more intense. I have fibromyalgia along with two other auto immune diseases. I decided when I acquired this new disease, to check out my doctors credentials, even though I felt he was a excellent doctor. I would advise anyone to check out their doctors credentials

Published: June 10

Hello, I'm a 40 year old male, and have had psoriatic arthritis for the past 10 years. Over the past 4 years I haven't had any treatment for it. I'm on SSD and my insurance company hasn't approved any of the newer drugs like Enbrel, Celebrex, these two meds are the only ones that have worked for me. In the past I've tried most of the older drugs, but had too many side affects.

Published: June 09

At 44 years old, I feel and often look like I'm in my eighties. I don't sleep well due to the pain in my joints. I can't lie on either side due to the pain in my hips. I'm waking with a heavy piercing pain in my chest, at the top of my cleavage, which only allows me to breathe somewhat comfortably if I am in an upright position. My left arm will not move at all in the mornings. I must move it with my right. I rise from bed through a series of rocking motions and my children must put my socks and shoes on. At 29 I was diagnosed with Lupus, though my doctor says that the two conditions are not related. I've not been able to bend properly, sit on the floor, or perform many regular household duties in over 16 years. I thought it was due to breaking my tailbone at 30 years of age, but now I wonder if it is not related to this condition. I don't know what to take to make the pain stop. I currently take 18 herbal medications a day. Without them I can't even get up. My doctor is starting me on something called Metasone.

Published: June 09

My husband developed it when we were building our log home. I understand that stress may have caused it. Anyhow, a couple of years the dermatologists said he had this Psoriatic Arthritis and prescribed HUMIRA injections. He has cleared up a ton, but his joints hurt all the time. He has also been prescribed several topical meds, so I don't know which helped.

Comment from: Adriana, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 17

My daughter is seven years old now. She was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of four. Around two years ago she started complaining about pain in her knees and elbows. Her Dermatologist has referred us Rheumatologist because we just noticed some swelling in the knee joint. It is really strange that she even has psoriasis, when studies show that it in not common in “black" people. She is so young for her to be suffering this way.

Comment from: thor64, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 17

I got severe pustules on my feet at age 10 after walking barefoot in the woods. I have spent years with raw, oozing, bleeding feet as an adolescent until finally receiving topical steroids and getting it under control. All my life, I have maintained with topical steroids. Age 30, had severe dermatologic outbreak on back, chest, and buttocks (basically t-shirt coverage area). Eventually benefitted by topical steroids and Xylocaine. I have moisturized skin immediately after bathing ever since, and have issues when I don't. Started having joint stiffness 2 years ago, evolving into pain, and excessive "popping" of almost all joints. Rheumatologist wrote this off completely, as I also have Benign Fasciculation Syndrome. I've had some trouble with eyes as well lately. Now, the pustules have begun to show up on my hands. I'm a 44 year old male, 6'0", 175 lbs, athletic for now.

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Comment from: sueanneheim, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 09

I am a nurse case manager. I was on this site getting some information for a report when I saw these comments. I don't know if this will help anyone but I have a patient who is on an injectable called Raptiva. He says it has been of tremendous benefit. Ask your doctor.

Published: July 31

I have learned people have so many different experiences with PsA. The range of symptoms is very wide, as is the severity. While exercise can be helpful, at some point in the disease management, some people experience flares too severe to exercise and need to get some control of pain and inflammation first, before restarting/continuing exercising. It is very important that people acknowledge these differences in personal stories/experiences. I like exercise but, when I am crippled with a severe relapse, I cannot possibly exercise, as I cannot even walk, lift a glass/cup, bathe, dress, etc. The pain is excruciating, even with treatments. I hope medical research continues as we need better (and safer) treatment options than are currently available to us. Blessings to all those suffering with PsA and those supporting their beloved family members, and friends with this extremely painful condition.

Published: July 23

I am a 68 year old male taking methotrexate for psoriatic arthritis in my fingers, and rheumatoid arthritis in my knees and hands. I find that the daily 2 miles speedwalking on my treadmill, although a little painful,is very benificial. Combined with a topical steriod, Taclonex, the severe cuts from the psoriatic arthritis is now at a minimum.

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