Importance of Treating Psoriatic Arthritis
Although psoriatic arthritis may range from mild to severe, it is important to treat no matter the severity. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can cause permanent joint damage, which may be disabling. In addition to preventing irreversible joint damage, treating your PsA may also help reduce inflammation in your body that could lead to other diseases. These other diseases are often referred to as comorbidities.
A comorbidity is a disease or condition that occurs because of or is related to a health condition you have, such as PsA. Some common comorbidities of PsA include cardiovascular (heart) disease, obesity and depression.
There may be other reasons that you choose to treat. You may want to reduce joint pain that often prevents you from sleeping well or engaging in daily activities. You may want to protect your joints and range of motion so you are able to move comfortably as you age. These are all valid reasons to treat your PsA.
Whatever your motivation for treating, know that there are more options available now than ever before. Discuss with your rheumatologist how to effectively treat your PsA and meet your treatment goals. Since your treatment may also affect your overall health, continue to see your primary care provider for regular check-ups.
Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Guidelines
In 2018, the National Psoriasis Foundation worked with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to publish guidelines for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. These guidelines recommend:
- Following a treat to target approach
- Trying tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) biologics as a first-line therapy
- Avoiding smoking