What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can include:
- pain and stiffness in and around your joints
- swollen fingers or toes (dactylitis), caused by inflammation in both joints and tendons
- buttock pain, a stiff back or a stiff neck, which is caused by inflammation in your spine (spondylitis)
- pain and swelling in your heels, caused by inflammation where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone
- pain in other areas where tendons attach to bone (enthesitis), such as your knee, hip and chest
- pitting, discoloration and thickening of your nails
- fatigue, which can be caused by the activity of the disease and the emotional effects that come with living with a long-term condition.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect any of the 78 joints in the body, although some joints are more likely to be affected than others. About one in four people who have psoriatic arthritis will have pain and stiffness in their neck or back.
Does psoriatic arthritis affect other parts of the body?
Psoriatic arthritis doesn't usually affect major organs such as the liver or lungs. However, you may be more likely to develop a painful red eye. If this affects you, it's important not to ignore it.
These symptoms may be caused by a condition called uveitis, also known as iritis, which is inflammation at the front of the eye. This can damage your eyesight if untreated.
Discuss this with your doctor who should help you recognise these symptoms, and explain what you should do if it occurs. People with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may also have a slightly greater risk than other people of developing heart disease, so it's important to address anything that could add to this risk, such as
- high alcohol intake
- being overweight
- blood pressure problems.