Finding Your Perfect Fit: Tailored Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

Effective Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis Finding the Best Solution

Psoriatic Arthritis Top Treatment Options

By Delamo Bekele, MBBS, as told to Alexandra Benisek

Living with psoriatic arthritis can feel like wearing ill-fitting shoes that pinch in all the wrong places. But fear not! Your rheumatologist is here to help you find the treatment plan that suits you like a bespoke suit, not an off-the-rack outfit.

Unlocking Your Unique Solution

When it comes to psoriatic arthritis, each person’s symptoms and situation are as unique as a snowflake wearing sunglasses. That’s why your doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation before starting treatment, checking for joint involvement, skin or nail disease, and more. Armed with this information, they will create a tailored medication regimen and recommend non-drug strategies to target your specific symptoms.

The treatment journey typically begins with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other inflammation-soothing medications. Next, we bring in the heavy artillery – immunosuppressive drugs that keep your overactive immune system in check. And if that’s not enough, we explore the wonderful world of exercise, physical therapy, and weight loss (if needed). Because who doesn’t want to shed some pounds while conquering arthritis?

Oh, and by the way, let’s not forget the importance of patient education. We want you to know that the goal of treatment is remission. Yes, you heard it right – remission, like vacationing on a tropical island with no sign of arthritis symptoms.

The Marvels of Modern Treatment

Hold onto your seats because we’re about to reveal some powerful psoriatic arthritis treatments that could rival a superhero lineup. Leading the pack are the biologic medications, including TNF inhibitors and their fellow comrades. These bad boys have proven their mettle in countless battles against arthritis.

If you’ve got a taste for unconventional options, we’ve got just the thing for you. Our secret recipe includes joint-protective medications that may not have scientific backing (yet!) but can work wonders in combination with other therapies. We call it our “extra taste of heaven” treatment plan.

But wait, there’s more! We have interleukin-17 (IL-17A) inhibitors, treatments for the most stubborn cases of psoriatic arthritis, and JAK inhibitors that pack a punch in pill form. And if pain is keeping you up at night, fear not. We have an arsenal of options that don’t involve opiates, such as duloxetine or tramadol. No need to thank us – it’s all part of the service.

Turbocharging Your Treatment

To make your treatment truly soar, we need a few power-ups to maximize its effectiveness. Sit tight, because here are some pro tips for getting the most out of your psoriatic arthritis treatment:

  1. Keep your doctor in the loop. Communication is key, my friend. Let your doctor know about any new medications you plan to take to avoid any unexpected interactions.

  2. Less is more when it comes to supplements and alcohol. While some things in life are better in excess (like pizza or chocolate), supplements and alcohol don’t fall into that category. With certain medications, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

  3. Stay on top of vaccinations. With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, reducing your risk of exposure is crucial. Keep up to date with vaccinations against flu and pneumonia, especially when your immune system is in the spotlight.

  4. Kick the smoking habit to the curb. Not only will it make your medications work better, but it will also boost your overall cardiovascular health. A win-win situation, wouldn’t you say?

  5. Shed the extra baggage. We’re not just talking about decluttering your closet. If you’re carrying excess weight, losing it can do wonders for your joints and your response to medication. Plus, it lowers the risk of complications from psoriatic arthritis. Who knew weight loss could be so beneficial?

  6. Exercise for the win! No, we’re not talking about running marathons or lifting cars (unless you’re a superhero). Rather, focus on low-impact exercises like walking, cycling, and pool workouts to strengthen your muscles and boost weight loss. Leave the high-impact activities for someone else – they tend to aggravate symptoms.

  7. Stick to the plan like glue. To reap the full benefits of your treatment, follow your doctor’s instructions religiously. Studies have shown that those who stray from the path tend to experience lackluster results. Let’s avoid that, shall we?

  8. Become a symptom sleuth. Your regular check-ups are the perfect time to evaluate how you’re feeling compared to your arthritis-free self. Are you stiff in the morning? Waking up with pain? Feeling discomfort in new areas? These are all signs that you need to notify your doctor pronto.

The Joy of a Tailored Approach

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why do treatments differ for each person? Brace yourself for a reality check – it all boils down to the severity of your psoriatic arthritis and your previous treatment history.

Picture two individuals: one with arthritis confined to their left wrist and a single finger on the right hand, the other with a hit parade of joint inflammation. The first person may need a gentle dose of methotrexate to conquer arthritis. They might even wave goodbye to medication altogether if remission comes knocking on their door.

Meanwhile, the second person’s journey might resemble a Choose Your Own Adventure book with ten different medications before finding the golden formula for relief. Unfortunately, there’s no crystal ball to predict which medication will work for you.

That’s why we rely on trial and error, patience, and frequent follow-ups to fine-tune your treatment plan. Instead of keeping you in suspense for a year, we adjust medications or add new ones until your symptoms wave the white flag and surrender.

If you’ve tried a few treatments without success, fear not. We rally the troops, joining forces with other doctors to devise a comprehensive plan that will have your arthritis quivering in its boots. This may involve combination therapy, where you take more than one medicine at a time. But caution is our middle name – some medications can’t be combined due to the risk of infection. We’re not ones to mix and match biologic medications either.

And here’s the cherry on top – we also take your preferences into account. If needles are your enemy, fear not! There are alternate methods, such as infusions or pills, to save the day. After all, our goal is to tailor treatment not just based on scientific evidence but also on what suits your practical and personal needs.

So, my fellow arthritis warriors, let’s keep our spirits up and tackle psoriatic arthritis head-on. With a tailored treatment plan and a sprinkle of patience, remission will be within reach. Now, go forth and conquer – one step at a time.