Psoriasis Home > Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Symmetric psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in that joint problems are on both sides of the body (e.g., the left knee and the right knee). This type of arthritis affects about 25 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis. Some common symptoms seen with this type of psoriatic arthritis include:
  • Morning joint stiffness -- Both the joints at the palm, as well as those at the ends of the fingertips, are usually involved. Often, the larger joints (such as the knees or hips) are also involved.
  • Pitting, thickened, and discolored nails -- This helps differentiate this type of arthritis from rheumatoid arthritis.
With this type of psoriatic arthritis, over one-half of people who do not receive treatment will develop destructive arthritis. This type of psoriatic arthritis is twice as common in women as men. It often appears at the same time that psoriatic skin plaques appear. Eye complications are uncommon.
Psoriatic Spondylitis
Psoriatic spondylitis is a type of psoriatic arthritis that affects the spine. About 25 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis will develop this type of arthritis. Some psoriatic spondylitis symptoms include:
  • Joint pain, tenderness, and/or stiffness -- The most commonly affected joints are the joints closest to the palm of the hand and joints at the ends of the fingertips. The larger joints (such as the hips or knees) may be involved.
  • Low back pain with morning stiffness -- About 50 percent of people with this type of psoriatic arthritis have spondylitis or sacroililitis. Sacroililitis is inflammation of the joints between the base of the spine (the sacrum) and the hipbones (the ilia). The back disease is slowly progressive, though it is not as destructive as ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Inflammation and swelling of tendons or ligaments that attach to the bone (known as enthesitis) -- The Achilles tendon, which is located above your heel, is a common location for this inflammation. This inflammation or swelling can result in heel pain or pain on the sole of the foot.
  • Pitting, thickened, and discolored nails.
People who develop this type of psoriatic arthritis were usually diagnosed with psoriasis several years earlier. This type tends not to be destructive. It is more common in men than women. Eye complications are rare.
Distal Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP)
Although this is the "classic" type of psoriatic arthritis, it occurs in only about 5 percent of people. The joints most often affected are those closest to the ends of the fingertips. Nail changes are also common.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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