Your Psoriatic Arthritis Health Care Team
If you have psoriatic arthritis (PsA), your immune system that supposed to protect healthy tissue, attacks it instead. This produces potentially damaging inflammation in your joints. But PsA can affect other systems and organs in your body. Because it’s a complex disease, PsA is best controlled with expertise from a team of health professionals in addition to your primary care doctor. These may include:
- A rheumatologist, who treats different types of arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases, will most likely manage your primary symptoms – inflammation, joint pain and stiffness.
- A dermatologist will treat your skin. Most people have psoriasis before developing psoriatic arthritis, so you may already see a dermatologist.
- A physical therapist can help retain mobility that joint changes and stiffness can undermine.
- An occupational therapist can help you overcome physical limitations that pain and stiffness might cause and that interfere with daily life.
- A cardiologist may join your health care team in certain cases. PsA increases the risk of heart disease.
The inflammation that can occur with this disease can also affect your eyes, lungs and digestive system over time. So make sure to discuss all your symptoms with your primary care physician or rheumatologist at each visit. He or she will refer you to a specialist if you develop vision, breathing or stomach problems.