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There are over 200 types of rheumatic disease and over nine million people in the UK have some form of arthritis. Arthritis means inflammation of the joints. Most people with arthritis will experience pain and some difficulty in moving around.

Arthritis affects people of all ages, including children. It is not clear what causes it and there is no cure at present. However, treatment can largely alleviate the symptoms and enable people to continue to live an active life, although some modifications may be necessary.

Rheumatic Conditions FAQs

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Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) causes inflammation in and around the joints and is associated with the skin condition, psoriasis. The exact cause of PsA is unknown. In most cases the arthritis develops after the appearance of psoriasis, however sometimes the arthritis precedes the skin symptoms. There is no correlation between the severity of skin disease and joint disease.

The symptoms of PsA may be similar to those of other forms of arthritis. It can affect most joints. Stiffness first thing in the morning or after resting is common, as is pitting and discoloration of nails. You may also suffer with spondylitis - a stiff, painful back or neck caused by inflammation in the spine, and iritis - inflammation around the pupil of the eye.

Drug treatment for PsA is similar to that of RA. The skin is usually treated with ointments, but you may also need tablet treatment and light therapy. Exercise is important to maintain muscle strength and mobility, and relaxation techniques may be useful to aid rest.

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