PSA your way | Ask Alia

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Psoriatic arthritis can often get in the way of you doing what you love most. Find out more about psoriatic arthritis to better manage your condition. ㅤ



Changes in your symptoms can mean an escalation of your disease. Be proactive in managing your psoriatic arthritis.ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ



Lifestyle changes and the right treatment plan are key to slowing disease activity and preserving your quality of life. ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ


You know your body and your psoriatic arthritis. If something doesn’t seem right, speak to your doctor early on to find alternative solutions.ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ 


Psoriatic arthritis can affect different areas of the body, including the skin, nails, spine and joints which may be swollen and/or painful.
Although the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can range from mild to severe, it’s important they are treated, no matter the severity. If your symptoms change or worsen, it's important to talk to a rheumatologist and reassess your PsA.
Dad holding his two daughters

What causes psoriatic arthritis?

It is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system is overactive and targets the body’s own healthy tissue as if it is fighting a foreign infection. The body’s response to the attack is inflammation or swelling.
The immune response in psoriatic arthritis can be triggered by environmental, infectious or genetic factors. Several options are available to help manage the condition, regardless of the cause.

How does psoriatic arthritis affect the body?

Psoriatic arthritis is systemic – meaning it can act throughout the body – but the immune system typically targets the skin cells, which results in skin plaques of psoriasis, and cells in the joints, causing the swelling and pain of psoriatic arthritis.

What other conditions are linked to psoriatic arthritis?

The inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis increases the risk of other conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Understand your PsA

PsA can be different for everyone and symptoms can vary. Would you like to understand your PsA more?   
Our psoriatic arthritis assessment is a quick and easy online tool that can help you find out if you could be doing more to manage your PsA and have better conversations with a rheumatologist to regain control over its treatment.


Psoriatic arthritis is complex and there are many different signs and symptoms. Common symptoms include:
  • Psoriasis
  • Pain in joints such as the ankles, knees or elbows
  • Swollen or tender joints
  • Back and neck pain
  • Morning stiffness
  • Sausage-like inflammation of whole fingers and toes
  • Changes in nails, including pitting, discolouration, or separation from the nail bed
Know what to look out for


There are many different presentations of psoriatic arthritis so treatments may vary. Your rheumatologist will tailor your treatment to your symptoms and how severe your condition is.
We’ve created a summary of the main options, including both non-drug and drug-based treatments. It’s important to speak with your healthcare professional to find the treatment option that’s right for you.
Man and woman taking a selfie

What treatments are available for PsA?

A range of medications may be used, depending on the severity of your PsA:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) also known as conventional DMARDs e.g. methotrexate, leflunomide
biologic DMARDs
Biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs commonly known as biologics or biologic DMARDs. These have different ‘classes’ depending on their mode of action (which part of your immune system they help to control).
Small molecules. These also modify your immune system, but through a different pathway to biologic DMARDs. They are known as Janus Kinase inhibitors (JAKs).
These medications may need to be prescribed in a stepwise approach to find the treatment that works best for you. This means that people with PsA usually need to be prescribed at least 2 conventional DMARDs prior your specialist considering biologics or small molecule treatments.
Psa treatment table
Find out if you could be doing more to manage your PsA and have better conversations with a rheumatologist to regain control over its treatment


Your lifestyle can influence how you manage your psoriatic arthritis. Here are five healthy habits you can adopt to help you control your PsA, along with the right treatment.1
Life changes image
1. Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight can sometimes make PsA worse. Carrying excess pounds puts added stress on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help reduce swelling and inflammation.
Healthy weight
2. Avoid smoking – tobacco may make PsA worse and certain medications may not be as effective in people who smoke. Quitting smoking can not only help with your PsA symptoms but also other health complications such as lung cancer and heart disease.
Avoid smoking
3. Keep moving – regular exercise may not only help your overall health but can also ease the joint pain of PsA and improve your mobility. Low impact activities, such as walking or swimming can benefit the spine and increase endurance.
Keep moving
4. Control stress – for some people, stress can exacerbate symptoms. It’s therefore especially important to take care of your mental health and reach out to your healthcare team if you have any concerns.
Stress control
5. Maintain a healthy diet – maintaining a healthy diet can improve your overall health and reduce joint inflammation related to PsA. Nuts, seeds, fish oil, and foods rich in omega-3-fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can be helpful.1
Healthy diet
Everybody is different so some changes that may work well for others may not work for you – speak to a rheumatologist to determine what lifestyle factors may be impacting your PsA.


1. Every Day Health, Lifestyle Habits for Managing Psoriatic Arthritis. Accessed May 2021, from

Why treat psoriatic arthritis?

Although the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can range from mild to severe, it’s important that they are treated, no matter the severity. PsA is a lifelong condition, that if left untreated, can lead to permanent damage in the joints.
The sooner the better: with early management and the right treatment, you can make sure you’re doing your best to minimise pain, control inflammation, and prevent permanent damage in the future. 
If you have psoriatic arthritis, don’t let it keep you from the things that matter the most. Explore your options and discover your solution.
2 women laughing


Psoriatic arthritis isn’t the same for everyone. Symptoms can vary and there are more treatments than ever before. Don’t settle for less – make time to reassess your options with a rheumatologist and find out if you could be doing more to better manage your PsA symptoms and overall condition.
Together you can find a care plan to manage your PsA, your way.
Man playing the guitar

Tips to get the most from your appointment

  • Write down your symptoms – why not reassess your PsA using our PsA assessment?

  • List any medications you’re taking – it’s important that your rheumatologist has the full picture

  • Any questions? Write them down in advance so you can make sure they’re all answered

  • Be open – don’t be afraid to ask your rheumatologist if anything is unclear

  • Support – why not take a relative or friend with you ?

Questions to askㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ

  • What different treatment options are available?

  • What does the medicine do?

  • How long will I need to use it?

  • How and when should I take it?

  • Should I avoid any foods, drinks, activities, medicines when I am taking the medication prescribed?

  • What are the possible side-effects and risks – and what should I do if they happen?

  • Are there any lifestyle changes that I can make?

Reviewing Your Options

Psoriatic arthritis is complex and there are more treatment options than ever before. The right treatment for you will depend on your symptoms so it is important that you communicate these effectively with your rheumatologist.
Your condition may change over time and your rheumatologist should be open to exploring alternative treatments if the one you’re on isn’t working. If you haven’t had your treatment reviewed, now may be the time to start a conversation with a rheumatologist. It is okay to ask for a second opinion and it is important that all your questions are addressed before you make an informed decision.
Woman talking to a young girl
woman gardening

Would you like to discover more about how you could manage your psoriatic arthritis better?   

Our psoriatic arthritis assessment is a quick and easy online tool that can help you identify areas where you could improve and have better conversations with a rheumatologist about your options.