Is Your Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Working?
Gina Battaglia | Dec 19, 2017
- 0 Not at all
- 1 Mild; does not limit my normal activities
- 2 Moderate; limits my daily activities somewhat
- 3 Severe; significantly limits my daily activities
Over the past 6 weeks, how severe have your joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and/or mobility limitations been?
Psoriatic arthritis is characterized by joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and/or limited mobility. Severe pain that significantly limits your daily activities may indicate that management of your psoriatic arthritis is suboptimal.
Do you currently have symptoms of psoriasis or have you been diagnosed with psoriasis?
About 60 to 80 percent of people living with psoriatic arthritis have a history of psoriasis symptoms (often within the past decade, but sometimes as long as 20 years prior). A small proportion of patients show signs of psoriatic arthritis prior to the onset of psoriasis, and psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may be present at the same time in a small group of patients.
If you're not currently living with or have a history of psoriasis, do you have a parent, sibling, uncle, aunt, grandparent, or half-sibling with psoriasis?
Even if you don't have a history of psoriasis, you're at increased risk for psoriatic arthritis if one or more first-degree (e.g., parent or sibling) or second-degree (uncle, aunt, grandparent, or half-sibling) relatives have a history of psoriasis.
Do you have, or have you had, swelling of your fingers and/or toes that gives them a sausage-like appearance?
About one-third of people with psoriatic arthritis have swelling of the fingers and/or toes. The swelling occurs throughout the entire digit, giving the fingers or toes a sausage-like appearance. Presence of this swelling may indicate that your psoriatic arthritis could be better managed.
Do you have any fingernails or toenails that are brittle; prone to cracking; have pits or dents; or have excess thickening between the free nail edge and fingertip skin, or painless separation of the nail from the nail bed?
Nail changes occur in a large proportion of people living with psoriatic arthritis and may be a solitary symptom, although most people with nail changes also have skin manifestations of psoriasis.
Do you have swelling at sites where the tendon or ligament attaches to the bone (e.g., the connection between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone) that makes it difficult or painful for you to walk?
Swelling at sites where the tendon or ligament attaches to the bone is a common symptom of psoriatic arthritis. Additionally, some evidence suggests that heel pain may predict the future development of psoriatic arthritis. Therefore, such swelling may suggest active psoriatic arthritis.
Have you ever received an antibody blood test for rheumatoid arthritis?
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be similar, particularly if you have a history of psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Antibody blood tests are usually ordered to help rule out rheumatoid arthritis as a cause of joint pain and swelling, although negative antibodies alone are usually insufficient to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.
Do you have chronic pain in your lower back, hips, and/or buttocks that worsens when walking or standing for extended periods of time; when you transition from sitting or standing; or when you climb stairs?
Inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, which connects the bottom of the spine with the pelvis, is common with a certain subtype of psoriatic arthritis. Therefore, chronic pain in the lower back, hip, or buttocks may indicate psoriatic arthritis that is not well controlled.
Have you experienced any symptoms in your eyes (e.g., dryness, redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, tearing, or dark floating spots)?
Eye symptoms may occur in approximately 30 percent of people with psoriasis and may include dryness, redness, or tearing. Inflammation of the middle layer of the eye has been associated with psoriatic arthritis and is characterized by redness, pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and dark floating spots in the field of vision.
Is your joint pain asymmetrical (e.g., one knee is more swollen and painful than the other) or symmetrical (e.g., both knees are equally swollen)?
Four of the five subtypes of psoriatic arthritis are asymmetrical and account for the majority of cases. Symmetrical joint pain is more commonly observed with rheumatoid arthritis, but symmetric involvement does not rule out psoriatic arthritis.