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Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

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We’re going to start here by looking at the nature of the term ‘double whammy’. We imagine most of you have heard it used many times, but where exactly does it come from? Well, it turns out it was the creation of boxing manager during the Second World War. His name was Wirt Ross, and he dropped the term double whammy as part of a barely-comprehensible excerpt as he was talking about how any boxer could defeat Joe Louis back then.

‘.. Professor Hoffmeister says I don’t get the double whammy to put on human beings until Lesson 9

Now getting into what he could’ve meant by all of that could be a series of blog entries on their own, so we’ll skip that and go straight to Merriam-Webster’s definition – ‘a combination of two adverse forces, circumstances, or effects.’

Adverse is the key word there, meaning undesirable, unwanted – not good. And when it comes to dealing with psoriatic arthritis symptoms you are indeed dealing with a double whammy. That’s because the person not only has arthritis, but that arthritis develops from have a skin disease called psoriasis.

That’s a double whammy. Not just one undesirable health condition, but two. And one coming from the other.

What is Psoriatic Arthritis

Now while we can assume that Wirt Ross knew a whole lot about professional pugilism, he probably wasn’t a fountain of knowledge on the human anatomy and diseases that can afflict it. Even though he was in the prime of his career some nearly 80 years ago, even back then he probably could have looked up psoriatic arthritis symptoms in a book the same way you can.

Of course he didn’t have the Internet to work with, but you do. However, you’re already here so let’s discuss everything you need to know about psoriatic arthritis symptoms and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis flare. First, we’ll define what is psoriatic arthritis exactly.

It’s a type of inflammatory arthritis that – by this point you can conclude – usually appears in people with a skin disease called psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms include swelling, pain, and warmth in the joints. Some people may also experience back or neck pain.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that involves the immune system becoming confused and starting to attack the skin. The symptoms are red patches of skin which become covered with a silvery-white scaliness.

About the 5s

Wirt’s boxers back then were probably like boxers of any era in that they all rely on 5 primary types of punches; jab / cross / hook / uppercut / body blow. The number 5 works for tallying up the 5 different general patterns of psoriatic arthritis, and also helpful for understanding what are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis when paired with the information above.

The 5 general patterns of psoriatic arthritis are:

  • Symmetric – affecting many joints and resembling rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asymmetric – affecting one to four joints, and on different sides of the body
  • Distal – arthritis is isolated in the end joints of fingers and closest to the fingernails
  • Spinal – involving the joints of the spine and the sacroiliac joins linking spine to pelvis
  • Destructive – a very uncommon and severely painful deformative type of arthritis that can grow out of psoriasis

The Symptoms

Right then, now we’re on to psoriatic arthritis symptoms. For many people it’s just as simple as you’d imagine – they have new and unexplained joint pain after having had psoriasis for years. In some cases, however, arthritis occurs in advance of the skin rash become visible.

Other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis flare include:

  • Unusual pain and stiffness in joints, and occasionally paired with back pain
  • Pain and stiffness that is worse in the morning, and typically last an hour or more before joint loosens up
  • Feeling of general body exhaustion and fatigue going along with the joint pain

Not Unusual

It’s reported that around 30% of patients attending psoriasis clinics in America report having some degree of psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

On a more upbeat note, there’s a diet that works very well for combatting psoriasis, and we can assume it may do much the same for psoriatic arthritis symptoms. You can learn more about it, but the basics of it involves cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, and wheat.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis Flare

This is really the unfortunate part of psoriatic arthritis. The fact that not only is it bad enough as it is, but it can get worse from time to time.  As you’d guess from the name, these are called flares, and they’re decidedly unpleasant.

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms when dealing with a flare include an increase in skin symptoms – thicker and redder plaques forming, and increased itching sensations, and fatigue and mental problems (including difficulty concentrating).

So, what causes a flare? They can be caused by any number of different triggers; stress, injury or illness, not taking psoriasis medication on time, or living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Effective Medications for Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Generally speaking, the same medications used for standard arthritis will be effective for treating psoriatic arthritis symptoms. One of the more commonly prescribed meds for arthritis is Methoblastin (Methylprednisolone). It’s not used to only treat arthritis, and in fact it has a whole host of therapeutic applications. However, it is particularly good for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis and as such it’s also effective for this condition too.

Other possibilities may be Medrol or Celebrex, with Celebrex being one of the most popular medications for treating arthritis. No matter which medication your physician prescribes for you, it’s going to be important to take your medication exactly as directed AND at the same time of the day.

Along much the same lines as it being very important for boxers to not bob when he should have weaved, or weaved when he should have bobbed.

A Wrap

We imagine anyone who came here wondering what the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are will be leaving with a firm understanding. As to why we chose to continually veer off to boxing references, that may still be relatively misunderstood. For those of you who do have psoriatic arthritis, it is something of a misfortune, albeit an entirely different one than having the biased, homer Olympic boxing judges that Roy Jones Junior did in Seoul in 1998.

Still one of the biggest travesties in sports history. 


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for your pet. See your veterinarian for medical advice and treatment for your pet if you have any concerns.


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