Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis of the Hand & Wrist

Painful arthritis affects millions of men and women worldwide. But while osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are more commonly recognized, psoriatic arthritis often remains in the shadows, despite its significant impact on individuals’ lives.

In this article, Dr. Uzma Rehman, a board-certified hand specialist in Bloomfield Hills, MI, sheds light on this familiar, yet equally important form of arthritis, focusing on its effects on the hand and wrist. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the types of arthritis, decipher the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, explore its causes, and unveil the cutting-edge treatments available under the expert care of Dr. Rehman.

Different Types of Arthritis: Osteo, Rheumatoid & Psoriatic

Arthritis is a collective term for various inflammatory joint conditions, each with distinct characteristics. Osteoarthritis primarily results from wear and tear on the joints, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the joints’ lining.

In the realm of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis is a lesser known yet equally significant and painful disease. This condition, often occurring in conjunction with psoriasis, an autoimmune skin disorder, can lead to inflammation in multiple joints, with the hands and wrists being particularly vulnerable.

What Type of Arthritis Do I Have?

Distinguishing between different types of arthritis can be challenging, especially when hand and wrist pain becomes a daily struggle. The key to accurate diagnosis lies in seeking specialized care. Consulting with a hand specialist like Dr. Uzma Rehman is crucial, as her expertise in hand and wrist conditions enables her to accurately identify the root cause of pain, facilitating tailored treatment plans for optimal relief and mobility.

Common indicators of psoriatic arthritis include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, often accompanied by skin changes characteristic of psoriasis. Pitted nails, redness, and patches of thick, scaly skin might also be present – which can distinguish psoriatic arthritis from other types. However, psoriatic arthritis can vary widely in its presentation, making professional evaluation by a qualified hand specialist, like Dr. Rehman in Bloomfield Hills, essential for an accurate diagnosis.

Causes & Risk Factors of Psoriatic Arthritis

While the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis remains unknown, it is believed that genetic predisposition and immune system dysfunction play pivotal roles. Individuals with a family history of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis are at a higher risk.

Additionally, environmental factors and triggers can exacerbate the condition. Dr. Rehman’s will conduct a thorough examination, allowing for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that is customized for each patient’s unique circumstances.

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatments

Psoriatic arthritis demands a multidisciplinary approach, encompassing medical, physical, and lifestyle interventions. Dr. Rehman’s expertise guides patients through a tailored treatment plan, which may include anti-inflammatory medications, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and biologic therapies. Furthermore, incorporating physical therapy, exercise, and lifestyle modifications empowers patients to manage their condition and enhance their quality of life.

#1. Anti-Inflammatory Medications for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Anti-inflammatory medications form the foundation of managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are commonly prescribed to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints of the hand. These medications provide relief by inhibiting specific enzymes responsible for promoting inflammation.

Dr. Rehman’s expertise ensures that patients receive the appropriate dose and duration of NSAIDs, minimizing potential side effects while maximizing symptom control.

#2. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are a critical component of treating psoriatic arthritis, because they can help reduce the risk of long-term damage.  These medications not only address symptoms but also work to slow down the progression of joint damage. Methotrexate is a commonly prescribed DMARD that effectively suppresses the immune system’s inflammatory response, reducing pain and preventing further deterioration of the hand joints.

Dr. Rehman’s expertise in hand and wrist conditions allows her to carefully monitor patients on DMARDs, ensuring that the treatment remains effective and well-tolerated.

#3. Biologic Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Biologic therapies represent a groundbreaking advancement in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, offering precise targeting of the underlying inflammatory processes. These therapies, often administered by injection or infusion, block specific molecules responsible for driving inflammation and joint damage. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, such as adalimumab and etanercept, are biologics that have shown remarkable success in managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

By working closely with each patient, Dr. Rehman assesses the most suitable biologic therapy based on their medical history, lifestyle, and treatment goals.

#4. Physical Therapy for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Physical therapy administered by the certified hand therapists at Macomb Hand Surgery in Bloomfield Hills encompasses a multifaceted approach that addresses the diverse aspects of psoriatic arthritis. Through manual techniques, joint mobilization, and soft tissue manipulation, hand therapists work to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance joint function.

Our experienced physical therapists will provide tailored exercise regimens to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, fostering gradual and sustainable improvements in hand and wrist mobility. Additionally, our certified hand therapists can educate patients on ergonomic principles, joint protection techniques, and lifestyle modifications that support their journey towards less pain and an enhanced quality of life.

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment | Bloomfield Hills

By addressing the unique challenges posed by psoriatic arthritis of the hand and wrist, Dr. Rehman empowers individuals to regain their mobility, confidence, and overall well-being.

Psoriatic arthritis of the hand and wrist can be a painful and debilitating condition – presenting a unique set of challenges that demand specialized care. Through accurate diagnosis, tailored treatment, and compassionate care, Dr. Rehman guides her patients toward a brighter future where pain takes a back seat, and patients can enjoy life and continue to perform their daily functions.

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment | Bloomfield Hills: 248.335.2638