Do You Know the Early Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?

4 minute read

By HealthVersed

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic and inflammatory condition that strikes stealthily. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about psoriatic arthritis with a search online right now, which could help you spot early symptoms.

Ranging from joint stiffness and swelling to fatigue and reduced range of motion, the earliest signs of psoriatic arthritis are often mistaken for general aches and pains. Which makes education and professional support absolutely essential.

Early Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis

The National Psoriasis Foundation indicates that up to 30 percent of psoriasis patients will eventually see their condition transition into psoriatic arthritis. Therefore, psoriasis is the first early warning sign, especially if it’s a severe case. Even if you don’t have psoriasis, you should be aware that the following symptoms may indicate the presence of psoriatic arthritis:

Swollen Fingers and Toes

The presence of dactylitis, which is painfully swollen fingers or toes, is found in approximately 50 percent of all psoriatic arthritis sufferers. This doesn’t happen in a symmetrical pattern, either, meaning that each joint could present a different amount of swelling. Additionally, it’s possible for only one digit to be affected.

Lower Back Pain

Many psoriatic arthritis patients develop axial arthritis. If you’re in this group, you can expect chronic pain that stems from above the tailbone and often spreads out into your hips and buttocks.

Foot Pain

Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis are common issues for people with psoriatic arthritis. You may also face stiffness, swelling, unusual warmth, and an overall sensation of pain in your feet. Due to the previously mentioned dactylitis, you’re also highly likely to have extremely swollen toes at least part of the time.

Joint Pain

Joint pain is one of the primary indicators of any type of arthritis. In psoriatic arthritis, this is often accompanied by stiffness, tenderness, and swelling in the joints. Your joint pain won’t necessarily be constant, and it could affect different areas of your body at different times.

Ankle Pain

Pain in and around the ankles is common. You might have difficulty sleeping due to this problem, but you can get some relief by sleeping with a pillow between your ankles. You can also relieve knee pain by putting a pillow between your knees.

Nail Changes

A majority of psoriatic arthritis sufferers will also develop nail psoriasis. Other issues may include nail discoloration, nail ridges, and crumbling nails.

Warm Joints

If any of your joints feel warm to the touch, you need to get them checked out. This symptom is caused by inflammation in the body, and it could also cause the skin around the joints to become reddened. Many people with this autoimmune disease will notice warmth in the middle of their lower back.


Do you feel tired even though you’ve slept? Does doing a mild amount of physical activity leave you exhausted? If the answer is yes, you might have the fatigue that’s often associated with psoriatic arthritis. says that while half of patients battle moderate fatigue, another 29 percent have severe fatigue.

Limited Range of Motion

As the condition develops, it may greatly reduce your range of motion. This is especially prevalent in hands, wrists, fingers, toes, hips, knees, and legs.

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Options

Before treatment options can begin, your doctor will need to determine exactly what you’re dealing with. It’s common to diagnose psoriatic arthritis by doing a physical exam, taking x-rays and doing a blood test to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.

Here are some of the most common treatments to manage symptoms:


The pain and inflammation that accompanies psoriatic arthritis can sometimes be treated with over-the-counter NSAIDs such as Aleve, Motrin IB, and Advil.


Since your immune response is out of control, your doctor may prescribe an immunosuppressant such as Cyclosporine or Azathioprine. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs can also help to reduce the risk of permanent tissue and joint damage. Your doctor may recommend Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, or Leflunomide.


Psoriatic arthritis has been associated with certain inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), Interleukin-17, and Interleukin-23. To fight back against these inflammatory markers, doctors can prescribe biologics, such as:

PDE4 Inhibitors

TNF-Alpha levels can be decreased by using PDE4 inhibitors, such as Apremilast (Otezla), which helps to restore the balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signals.

Early Diagnosis Matters

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. If left untreated, you could end up with severe, permanent joint deformities and bone damage. Luckily, there are many options for treating psoriatic arthritis — especially if you and your doctor catch the disease early. With additional online research, you can explore them.

It’s important to know that the risk of permanent, debilitating damage increases without early treatment. To give yourself the best chance at a less painful life, seek treatment immediately if you’ve been experiencing the early warning signs of psoriatic arthritis.