Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

June 11, 2024 by Musculoskeletal Health Australia0

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In this edition of Connected tISSUES we are shining a spotlight on the complex and often serious musculoskeletal condition, psoriatic arthritis (PsA). PsA is a condition that presents differently in different people. In simple terms, PsA causes pain and inflammation in the joints and is usually associated with the skin condition psoriasis (but it can occur without someone experiencing this…we told you it was complex!) 

Psoriatic arthritis can be challenging to recognise because of the varied ways it can present and because of overlapping symptoms with other conditions. This difficulty can sometimes lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Our on-demand webinar Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis and Management by Dr Adam Rischin is a great resource for anyone seeking information on PsA, its symptoms, tests that can assist with diagnosis and effective treatment options. 

PsA can affect anyone. Our nurse recalls a 30-year-old male contacting the free Musculoskeletal Health Australia B.A.M. Helpline because he was struggling with the effects of his psoriatic arthritis. The impact this condition was having on his life was heartbreaking.  He was living with quite severe plaque psoriasis (plaques appear as raised, inflamed, and scaly patches of dry skin that may be itchy and painful). This young mans mental health, financial security, social, personal and professional life had also been negatively impacted by his condition. It was sad to learn that he had left his job due to the embarrassment he felt, embarrassment that was caused by a symptom of his condition (he was extremely conscious of the silvery flakes of skin he ‘was leaving’ on the chair at work and he didn’t want other people to have to sit on that after him). He was living with chronic pain due to the inflammation in his joints. His quality of life had been severely impacted and he was desperately looking for understanding, help and connection. 

Whilst there are a number of treatment options available to people living with PsA most recently a medication called Apremiast (OTEZLA) was added to the PBS. Apremiast is showing some positive results for plaque psoriasis which is good news as up to 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. 

For more information on Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) go to the Musculoskeletal Health Australia website and download the PsA Information Sheet. For those living with PsA, make sure you access our self-care plan to help you understand, manage and live well with your condition, or call our helpline and speak to our nurse (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm) on 1800 263 265 or email helpline@muscha.org

Other sources of information on PsA:

 

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Musculoskeletal Health Australia (or MHA) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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