What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis can be a serious disease and can damage joints and other body systems, so it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.1,2

The sooner psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed, the sooner it can be managed appropriately.1

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms include red, scaly and sometimes itchy patches of skin known as psoriasis, as well as swollen, stiff and painful joints.1,2

Additionally, psoriatic arthritis symptoms usually flare and then diminish, vary from person to person, and can change locations in the same person over time.1

Fingers and toes that are swollen for no reason

“Sausage-like” swelling along the length of fingers and/or toes (called dactylitis).1,2 (ACR p2, Fitzgerald p1206 L 2nd para 1-6)

Joint stiffness upon waking up

Joint stiffness upon waking up or after a period of rest.2 (Fitzgerald p 1206 last 2 lines)

General fatigue

Up to 50 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis have moderate to severe fatigue.3 https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/fatigue-and-psoriatic-arthritis

Pain and/or swelling in the back of your heel

Pain and/or swelling in the back of your heel could be a condition called enthesitis, where tendons and ligaments join onto bones become tender.1,2 (ACR, Fitzgerald p 1206 2nd para 9-14)

Reduced range of movement in your joints

Stiffness and pain in the joints and swelling and tenderness in tendons can cause reduced range of motion.1,2 (ACR p 2, Fitzgerald p1201 L 1-3)

Pain in the lower back, upper back and/or neck

Pain in the lower back, upper back and/or neck which might include a condition called spondylitis. Spondylitis causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis.1,2 (ACR, Fitzgerald p 1206 last 2 lines)

Changes to nails

Changes to nails, such as pitting of your nails or separation of the nail from the nail bed1,2 (ACR, Fitzgerald p 1203 Fig 72-2)

Eye pain,

Eye pain, eye redness, light sensitivity, blurred vision, dark, floating spots in your field of vision, decreased vision are symptoms that may be caused by uveitis.4 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uveitis/basics/symptoms/con-20026602

There are also other symptoms to watch out for: 1,2

Fingers and toes that are swollen for no reason. “Sausage-like” swelling along the length of fingers and/or toes (called dactylitis).1,2

Reduced range of movement in your joints. Stiffness and pain in the joints and swelling and tenderness in tendons can cause reduced range of motion.1,2

Joint stiffness upon waking up or after a period of rest.2

Pain in the lower back, upper back and/or neck which might include a condition called spondylitis. Spondylitis causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis.1,2

General fatigue. Up to 50 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis have moderate to severe fatigue.3

Changes to nails, such as pitting of your nails or separation of the nail from the nail bed.1,2

Pain and/or swelling in the back of your heel could be a condition called enthesitis, where tendons and ligaments join onto bones become tender.1,2

Eye pain, eye redness, light sensitivity, blurred vision, dark, floating spots in your field of vision, decreased vision are symptoms that may be caused by uveitis.4

Psoriatic arthritis can be mistaken for other joint conditions, injury, or general wear and tear.5,6

Your current doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist, who is often the best doctor to see for psoriatic arthritis. They can diagnose and help to prevent permanent joint damage.7

References
  1. American College of Rheumatology. Psoriatic arthritis. Available at: www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Psoriatic_Arthritis/ [Last accessed: November 2017].
  2. Fitzgerald O. 2013. Psoriatic arthritis. In: Firestein GS, et al. Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 1232–1268.
  3. http://www.psoriasis.org/advance/fatigue-and-psoriatic-arthritis[Last accessed November 2017].
  4. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uveitis/basics/symptoms/con-20026602 [Last accessed November 2017].
  5. Helliwell P, et al. Arthritis Care Res. 2014;66:1759–1766.
  6. Psoriasis Association. Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis. Available at: www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/psoriasis-and-treatments/psoriatic-arthritis. [Last accessed November 2017].
  7. Haroon M, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;74:1045–1050.