Five Types of Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: March 2023
Did that title catch you off guard? I know it did for me. One of the things I've learned is that the more you know about your disease, the more there is to know. Take this title for instance. I have had psoriatic arthritis for almost 8 years now.
It started in my back. Over these 8 years, it has progressed to my hips and knees as well. Even as I sit here typing my back feels like someone put it in a vice and has been cranking on the handle.
The 5 types of psoriatic arthritis
I honestly did not know that there are five different types of psoriatic arthritis. Before we dive in, I have written about this topic before and wanted to follow up as I've learned even more as I researched further.
This is the one I have heard mentioned time and time again. However, in my case, it has not been mentioned as a type of psoriatic arthritis that I personally have. Spondylitis is described as inflammation between the joints in your vertebra. Think about that for a minute.1
Your vertebra runs from your neck to the length of your back. That is a large area that can get inflamed.
Asymmetric psoriatic arthritis
This is described as being the mildest form of psoriatic arthritis a person can have. It affects only one side of your body usually affecting a hip, knee, toe, or finger.2
Symmetric psoriatic arthritis
About half the people who have psoriatic arthritis have this type.3 Unlike the one previously described this type of arthritis affects both sides of your body. For example, if you have arthritis is in your knee then the other knee will have it also. If your hip is affected the other hip will be as well. You get the jest.
Distal psoriatic arthritis
As the name implies, distal means it affects away from the center. A prime example of this arthritis is that it affects the tips of your fingers.2 It will not be the whole finger that hurts only the tip. This form of arthritis is often confused with osteoarthritis.
I do not know how your arthritis diagnosis journey went but I can sure tell you that each time I said something about pain to my rheumatologist this is what I was told over and over again. You have osteoarthritis. Bet you heard this over and over again like I did.
Less than 1 in 20 get this form of psoriatic arthritis. It is the most severe and the rarest kind. This type causes your fingers and toes to become disfigured. Loss of range of motion is the result of this. It also comes with a lot of pain and stiffness.2
Did you know there were 5 types?
Those are the five types of psoriatic arthritis. I have to admit I only knew about one of these. However, I am going to make a point of asking my rheumatologist about it at my next appointment. I know I have plaque psoriasis. Even though it might only be for my information, but I want to know which of the five psoriatic arthritis types I have as well.
I firmly believe we should be the ambassadors of our own health. By that I mean we should learn as much as we can so that we actively participate in a discussion with our doctor. What type of ambassador are you? Did you know that there were five types of psoriatic arthritis? Do you know which type you have? If not, will you be having that discussion with your doctor as I will?
Do you have any questions about PsA?