Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and sacroiliitis are both inflammatory conditions that affect the joints. It is possible for people to have one or both of these conditions.
PsA is a chronic autoimmune condition that can cause painful inflammation in any joint, including the ankles, feet, hands, and knees. In contrast, sacroiliitis causes painful inflammation of the sacroiliac joints in the lower back.
The two conditions have different causes, symptoms, and treatment options. However, PsA is one of several conditions that can lead to sacroiliitis.
This article examines the link between PsA and sacroiliitis, including the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of both conditions and when to speak with a doctor.
PsA causes joints to become stiff, painful, and swollen. This condition occurs due to the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy joint tissue.
Although PsA typically affects joints in the knees, ankles, feet, and hands, it can affect other joints. When PsA affects the sacroiliac joints, it can cause sacroiliitis. The sacroiliac joints are in the lower back, where the pelvis joins the spine.
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However, the two conditions do not always co-occur, and a person may have one or both.
Other causes of sacroiliitis
The symptoms of PsA and sacroiliitis may differ. However, if PsA affects the sacroiliac joints, it may cause sacroiliitis. If the conditions occur together, a person may have symptoms of both conditions, especially in the lower back.
Symptoms of PsA include:
- stiffness, swelling, pain, and tenderness in one or more joints
- swelling, tenderness, and pain over tendons
- swelling in fingers and toes
- a reduced range of motion
- stiffness that worsens in the morning
- pain and redness in the eye
- changes in nails such as separation from the nail bed
- psoriasis in some cases
- standing for a prolonged period
- climbing stairs
- putting more weight on one leg
- getting up from a chair
A doctor may use similar methods to diagnose PsA and sacroiliitis, including the following:
- performing a physical examination
- asking about a person’s medical history and symptoms
- ordering blood tests
- ordering imaging tests such as ultrasound, MRI scans, and X-rays
If a doctor suspects someone has sacroiliitis,
Treatment plans for each condition may vary, particularly depending on the extent of the condition. Doctors may tailor a treatment plan to a person’s symptoms and specific needs.
Treatment for PsA aims to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. A treatment plan
Treatment for PsA may include:
- disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors
- biologic medications
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
Treatment for sacroiliitis
If a person is experiencing persistent pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, it is recommended that they contact a doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate several conditions.
A doctor can give an accurate diagnosis to determine whether someone has PsA or sacroiliitis.
Treatment may help relieve symptoms as well as slow the progression of PsA and some of the causes of sacroiliitis.
PsA is a chronic autoimmune disease that sometimes co-occurs with psoriasis. In people with PsA, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
PsA is one potential cause of sacroiliitis, inflammation in the sacroiliac joints in the lower back where the pelvis and spine meet. Signs of sacroiliitis may be an early indicator of PsA.
Some methods of diagnosis and treatment are similar for both conditions, including blood tests, imaging tests, and certain medications, including NSAIDs and corticosteroids.
If a person thinks they may be experiencing symptoms of PsA or sacroiliitis, it is important that they speak with a doctor.