Psoriatic arthritis can occur in combination with psoriasis (an autoimmune disease) and involves the combination of skin patches, along with the inflammation of up to five joints. Arthritis does have a genetic deposition, along with the possibility of certain environmental factors and infections or traumas to joints and the skin. 

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis alone will probably be enough of a motivator for you to seek a proper diagnosis and care. But in case you needed another push, untreated psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage, the Mayo Clinic notes. If some (or many) of the below symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s essential that you try to work with a doctor to manage this disease.

Here are five psoriatic arthritis symptoms that you should know about and watch out for:

  1. Swollen fingers and toes – Dactylitis is when your fingers and toes swell up to a painful degree. When your tendons, ligaments, and small joints swell and become inflamed, psoriatic arthritis is one of the most common symptoms. 
  2. Having difficulty moving in the morning – When your joints become inflamed and immobile overnight while sleeping, it can cause you to feel incredibly stiff in the morning and have difficulty moving. The tightness of tendons and stiffness of muscles make the mornings even more difficult. The symptom is a wide-reaching symptom, but studies have shown that up to 70% of those with psoriatic arthritis feel difficulty moving in the morning. 
  3. Experiencing pain to grip a pen or bend toes – Tenosynovitis involves the tendons being in pain and swelling, another common symptom of psoriatic arthritis. While it commonly affects the tendons in toes and fingers, it can happen to make it difficult to grip a pen or bend the toes. 
  4. Pain in your heels – Psoriatic arthritis affects tendons inserted into the bones, including the Achilles tendon in the back of the heel. It may not be the most common symptom, but it is one that directly affects the day to day activities of patients. 
  5. You are exhausted continuously – Living with an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis has your immune system and healthy cells fighting against one another. Along with coping with the constant pain of inflamed tendons and ligaments can leave you feeling exhausted. You can feel that it is difficult to sleep and get proper exercise, leaving you exhausted. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, set an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. Physical therapy is helpful with psoriatic arthritis to improve joint mobility and learning how to manage your symptoms. There is a no known cure to psoriatic arthritis, there are options to help you not live in constant pain. 

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