At first sight, psoriatic arthritis does not seem to fit together very well. Behind the technical term psoriasis hides the psoriasis, which is associated with reddened, scaly skin. Arthritis describes the process of inflamed joints. Psoriatic arthritis is therefore a combination of the two diseases, which can also appear to occur independently of each other.
How does psoriatic arthritis progress??
The disease often begins, but not always with psoriasis, which can also affect the nails. Later, the inflammation spreads to the joints. Scientists believe that one in three psoriasis patients will develop psoriatic arthritis during their lifetime. Men and women are equally affected; the disease usually appears for the first time between 30 and 55 years of age. Sometimes the skin changes are completely in the background or in the background. even a psoriasis in a close blood relative is sufficient for diagnosis.
These are the most common symptoms:
– Inflammation of small and/or large joints, sometimes also of tendon attachments, accompanied by prere pain and swelling – inflammation of a whole finger (sausage finger) – scaly and reddened skin – nail psoriasis – deep-seated back pain – symptoms often occur in episodes and there are (also longer) symptom-free phases – disease progresses chronically
Is psoriatic arthritis a rheumatic disease?
Psoriatic arthritis belongs to the rheumatic diseases and thus to the autoimmune diseases. Therefore, it is based on a malfunction of the immune system, in which defense cells are directed against the body's own tie. This also explains the connection between the actual disparate clinical pictures of psoriasis and arthritis. The sick immune system causes inflammations in the skin on the one hand and in the joints on the other hand. The causes of this disease are not yet fully understood, but more and more inflammatory messengers are being discovered which play a role in the development and progression of the disease.
Psoriatic arthritis is a rheumatic disease
What treatment options are there for psoriatic arthritis?
A cure for psoriatic arthritis is currently not possible. However, there are treatment options that positively influence the course of the disease, alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life. Typically, the treatment of the disease is based on two pillars: physiotherapeutic measures and the administration of medication. Medications used in psoriatic arthritis:
– Anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs such as NSAIDs – Cortisone-containing drugs – Basic drugs (DMARDs, immunosuppressants) – Biologics
Many patients with psoriatic arthritis often complain about strong side effects of the medication. Therefore, it may be useful to try alternative therapies.
Alternative to medication – healing therapy
The Gasteiner Heilstollen is considered the world's largest therapy center for Bekhterev's disease, which, like psoriatic arthritis, belongs to the group of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Also for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, studies show that both spinal and joint symptoms as well as skin symptoms are reduced in the months following healing therapy.
Therapy in the Gastein Heilstollen can reduce the consumption of medication
The effects of healing cave therapy:
– long-term pain-relieving effect over 9-12 months – reduction of the need for painkillers – improvement of the functional status (mobility) – positive reaction to the psoriatic skin symptoms – higher quality of life
Patients enter a thermal gallery several times for healing tunnel therapy as part of a course of treatment. There is a subtropical climate. With up to 100 percent humidity and temperatures of 37.5 to 41.5 degrees, they expose themselves to a slight overheating of the body. Experts speak of moderate hyperthermia or therapeutic fever. It is known that this alone has a stabilizing effect on the pure skin symptoms of psoriasis. Heat also reduces pain. Many patients are familiar with this when they usually experience less pain in summer temperatures than in the freezing winter.
In addition, this climate creates the best conditions for the second pillar of the therapy: In a slightly overheated state, the body absorbs radon, which naturally escapes from the rock in the healing gallery, better. Radon stimulates the body's own cellular repair. Reduces the activity of pain messengers. The less active they are, the less patients perceive pain. In some patients this effect starts already towards the end of the cure, in others delayed after some weeks. It ranges from considerable pain relief to complete freedom from symptoms and lasts up to nine months.
Information about the cure
The cure in the Gasteiner Heilstollen alleviates complaints without side effects for many months with different disease patterns. Patients usually undergo therapy as part of a cure, during which they travel several times on a tunnel train to the interior of the mountain, where the healing climate occurs naturally.