What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects around 10 to 30% of people who have psoriasis. Usually, people who have psoriatic arthritis will have a history of Psoriasis but in some people, joint problems can begin before skin lesions appear.
What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are
Scaly plaques in skin
Difficulty in movements
Types of Psoriatic Arthritis:
There are five main types of Psoriatic arthritis
1. Asymmetric Arthritis
It is mild in nature and seen 70% of psoriatic arthritis cases. It can occur in any joint, but not necessarily the same joints on both sides of the body. Fingers and toes can become enlarged and “sausage-like.”
2. Symmetric Arthritis
It can resemble rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and seen 25% of psoriatic arthritis cases. Affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
3. Arthritis Mutilans
A severe, deforming, and destructive type of Psoriatic arthritis that usually affects the small joints of the hands and feet.
Spine is affected
5. Distal Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP)
Fingers are more involved.
Timely taken treatment for psoriasis will not only able to subside psoriasis but more importantly, it prevents the risk to develop other chronic and serious health conditions like psoriatic arthritis, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Depression, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other immune-related conditions. In Ayurveda with the symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis are seen under the Kusta (Skin Disease) and Vatarakta( Joint disorder with the involvement of skin).
In Psoriasis, we can see Vata and Kapha dosha’s involvement more predominantly and in few cases along with Pitta Dosha. When these dosha’s (body humor) gets aggravated furthermore due to the consumption of causative factors, the aggravated dosha’s gradually moves to the deeper dhatu’s like Asthi (bone). When these doshas get lodged in joints it produces sandhi shooala (pain in joints) and sandhi vikriti (changes in joint) resulting in Psoriatic Arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis and Ayurvedic Treatment:
Coming to the treatment aspects of Psoriatic Arthritis in Ayurveda, it aims at the following points.
- Avoiding causative factors responsible for imbalance the doshas.
- Elimination of aggravated dosha’s
- Harmonizing the doshas.
- Preventing further aggravation of the disease.
- Restorative or regenerative procedure to reverse the pathology.
Panchakarma treatments like Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Raktamokshana are done considering the strength of the patient and other parameters. Panchakarma treatments will help to eliminate morbid doshas from the body. The purificatory procedures will help to bring down the excessive doshas and the internal medications will act much better if administered after panchakarma.
All the panchakarma procedures may not be necessary for a psoriatic arthritis patient, It can be decided after examination of the patient and suitable panchakarma therapies can be administered. One must also know that every psoriatic arthritis patient may not be able to undergo panchakarma therapy due to the state and stage of the disease.
External treatments are selected according to the condition with different medications and procedures to harmonize the doshas. The following are the few generally used treatments in Psoriatic Arthritis.
Pouring or dripping medicated buttermilk all over the body or to the scalp. It is beneficial in kapha and vata predominant conditions.
Warm medicated decoctions are prepared using herbs like aragwadha,khadira etc..poured all over the body in a specific manner to induce mild sweat.
A medicated paste is applied all over the body using specific drugs and in specific thickness depending on the dosha predominance.
A medicated milk or decoction is poured all over the body to mitigate the doshas.
Application of medicated oil, ghee, etc… to the body and massage is done for a specific period. This helps to reduce dryness, itching, etc…
Sweating helps in increasing the peripheral blood flow thus helps in faster healing. It also helps to open up the channels to clear the obstruction caused by the aggravated doshas.
Best results can be attained when the patient is ready to accept the treatment protocol and conditions fixed by the Ayurveda doctor. If it is in the initial stage it can be cured without much delay. Otherwise, regular treatment continuing for months will be needed. All depends on how the patient accepts the treatment modalities and how strictly follows the dietary protocol and lifestyle for the rest of the life.
A strict diet regime has to be followed during the entire treatment period and it is better to continue with advised food and lifestyle to prevent the reoccurrence.
Also, read about Tips for Winter Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
* “Results may vary from person to person.”