Psoriatic arthritis: progressive symptoms
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis range from mild to severe. The patient may appear to be in remission for certain periods. Then, their symptoms may reappear, with highly uncomfortable inflammation.
During an attack of psoriatic arthritis, the joints swell and stiffen, causing major pain, often at night or in the morning. The inflammation generally affects the joints of one or more limbs: wrists and hands (fingers), feet and ankles (toes), hips and knees. The pain is sometimes asymmetrical, appearing on only one side of the body. In other cases, both sides of the body are affected by joint inflammation.
Pain in the spinal column
The spinal column and the coccyx are equally affected by inflammatory psoriatic rheumatism. There is considerable pain during the night, with stiffness in the morning upon waking up. This symptom causes major disability for the patient. The progression of the psoriatic arthritis makes the pain worse, which reduces freedom of movement in the sufferer.
From the initial appearance of joint pain (initial psoriatic arthritis attacks), the joints begin to deteriorate. The progressive destruction of joints ultimately leads to them becoming deformed. Over the course of months or years, the fingers and/or the toes can form “sausage-like” deformations.
Other visible symptoms
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include some visible manifestations, such as on the fingernails in the majority of patients. The nail damage observed in psoriatic arthritis patients has the same appearance as a fungal nail infection. This symptom on the nails sometimes helps the rheumatologist to identify the type of arthritis, i.e. to distinguish between psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
One third of patients with psoriatic arthritis will develop conjunctivitis or iris inflammation.