PsA and Your Legs
Last updated: March 2023
Psoriatic arthritis can develop in any areas that you have joints in your body. The most common areas are usually in your back or your hips. However, any joints in your body can be affected by it. My experience with psoriatic arthritis has been much the same experience as everyone else. The joint pain started in my back. About two years ago I started experiencing the joint pain in my hips. It makes it hard to go on long walks or even sleep at night.
I just recently had a new experience with psoriatic arthritis that I thought I would share with you. My left leg down toward the ankle started having shooting pains that would be so intense it would make me yell out in pain. At times my ankles would swell so I just thought it had something to do with that.
Seeing my doctor for leg pain and swelling
I already had experience in the past of letting my pain go too long before I said anything. My reward for that was it caused permanent joint damage in my back. I was not about to wait so long this time.
My next visit with my primary care doctor I told her of the pain I was experiencing in my left towards my ankle. She examined my leg. She did not see anything that looked unusual. She then looked at my ankle. She did notice that it was very swollen. I explained to her that it swells a lot along with my other ankle but I was not having the pain in the right ankle. She looks in my chart and notices psoriatic arthritis noted there. She said that the psoriatic arthritis was putting pressure on my joints in my foot causing them to swell. That swelling was causing shooting pain as a reaction.
Treating my psoriatic arthritis leg pain
Her suggestion was to put me on lasix to see if that would take care of the pain I was experiencing. My thought was if it was psoriatic arthritis then how would losing fluids out of my body going to help. I guess that is why they are the doctors and I am not. I was surprised that about a week into taking the lasix I had no more shooting leg pain. Who knew that a little small pill less than a diameter in size could bring me so much relief. I was happy to go back to her on my follow-up appointment to tell her about the progress. No more shooting pain. No more of my ankles swelling either. I hate taking medicine, but I am relieved to no longer experience that searing pain.
Confirming the cause with my rheumatologist
I have to admit that I am lucky in that my primary care doctor and my rheumatologist communicate with each other about my health. My primary care doctor had sent a note to my rheumatologist about the leg pain. She wanted the rheumatologist to follow up with me to see if she was right in saying it was psoriatic arthritis causing the problem. The rheumatologist confirmed that it was. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised by it, but I was.
Your ankles have joints in them as well as other areas. However, it is not talked about like the knees, back, and hips when it comes to psoriatic arthritis. Had I not taken the time to mention it to my doctor then I would have never gotten the relief from my ankles swelling or the shooting pain it was causing.
Where have you experienced PsA pain? (multiple choice)
What has your experience been with leg pain?
Have you ever had the shooting pain in your legs toward your ankles? Did you mention it to your doctor? I know there are other conditions that can be the cause of the swelling or shooting pains. My advice to you is- do not wait. Have that talk with your doctor. You might find out like I did that it is another cause of psoriatic arthritis. You might find that it is not. However, it sure beats living with the pain or not finding out something more is wrong until it is too late. What do you think? Is this something you have heard before in your experience with PsA?
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