MD Podiatrist Discusses Psoriatic Arthritis

According to Dan Michaels, DPM, “Early on, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) was considered to be a less aggressive condition as compared to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But this opinion has changed; psoriatic arthritis can cause as much if not more disease and disability. The pattern of joint involvement will vary from person to person. Some may have just a few joints affected, while others have many. Generally, the joint changes develop on only one side of the body, unlike RA where both limbs are. Foot involvement is a significant concern in PsA as it can lead to pain and disability. Ultimately, this means reduced mobility and quality of life.” 
“One diagnostic feature is the development of ‘sausage toes,’ referring to the swollen, painful toes associated with psoriatic arthritis. A single digit can be affected or many. Other anatomical structures that may be affected include the Achilles tendon, the plantar fascia (the structure usually responsible for heel pain), as well as the joints in the ball of the foot. A joint attack can be aggravated by dietary factors. Saturated fats, sugar, alcohol, processed meats, and carbs are notorious candidates since, along with adding pounds, they increase levels of inflammation in the bloodstream. These are known to be triggers for a psoriatic arthritis flare,” says Dr. Michaels.