• 2481 Bloor St. W, Toronto
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Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

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Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Open

Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Book Appointment

Sign Up for an Appointment

Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Book Appointment

Sign Up for an Appointment

Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!

Psoriatic Arthritis

On This Page

Overview

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the joints associated with psoriasis (a skin-related auto-immune disease).  It commonly affects the feet and ankles, and is characterized by swelling of the toes and feet, changes to the toenails, and skin rashes on the feet.  The joints in the toes, feet and ankle may also become stiff and painful.

Like Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is an inflammatory disorder with an auto-immune component, meaning that it occurs when our immune system starts fighting healthy cells.  Because both conditions involve chronic inflammation in the joints, the symptoms and presentation are often similar.  

About 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Usually people develop psoriasis before psoriatic arthritis, but sometimes the arthritic symptoms may present before the disease starts affecting the skin.

Symptoms

What Are The Signs Of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Some of the common symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis in the feet are:

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints of the feet and ankle.  This can be in both feet or isolated to one. 
  • Sausage-like swelling in the toes (called dactylitis).  The rest of the foot may also swell.
  • Heel pain: This occurs due to inflammation of the Achilles’ tendon (Achilles tendonitis), which connects our heel bone to our calf muscles.  
  • Pain on the sole of the foot: This is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot (plantar fasciitis). Psoriatic arthritis can sometimes be the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis, which can lead to misdiagnosis. 
  • Discoloration, pitting (small depressions), thickening or detachment of the toenails from the nail bed (psoriatic onychodystrophy or “psoriatic nails”):  These symptoms occur more frequently in elderly psoriatic arthritis patients. 
  • Extreme exhaustion lasting days or weeks that does not go away with adequate rest. 
  • Redness or warmth in affected joints.
  • Red or purple raised scaly patches or lesions on the skin of the feet.  These lesions (called “plaques”) are the signature symptom of psoriasis and may appear elsewhere on the body as well. 
  • Symptoms may be intermittent and periodically come and go. When the symptoms are active, it’s referred to as a “flare-up”, and when they are inactive it’s called “remission”. 

Causes

What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic Arthritis is secondary to (and often preceded by) Psoriasis. Both are auto-immune diseases where the body’s immune system becomes overactive and starts attacking healthy cells: With Psoriasis, the body attacks skin cells; with Psoriatic Arthritis it attacks the joints. When these cells are attacked, the immune system tries to protect and heal the damage by triggering its inflammatory response, which produces inflammation in the affected areas. Although the inflammatory response is part of our body’s natural, healthy way to heal injuries, with an auto-immune disease like psoriatic arthritis, the immune system gets confused and repeatedly misfires its inflammatory response. This causes excessive inflammation buildup in the joints, which leads to pain and stiffness and can damage the surrounding muscle and tissue over time.  

The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown.  There is believed to be a strong genetic component that either causes or predisposes a person to developing Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis.  There is also evidence that infection or trauma can be a contributing factor, because both of these trigger the body’s inflammatory response. 

Treatment

Psoriatic arthritis cannot be cured, but it can be effectively managed and treated.  Some of these treatment options include:

  • Splinting or bracing:  A chiropodist can splint or brace the affected joints (i.e.: the toes or ankle), which immobilizes them and helps reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Proper footwear and orthotics that relieve pressure on the affected areas and promote healthy biomechanics:  These will reduce the strain and burden on the affected joints, which in turn reduces the frequency and intensity of flare-ups. This also reduces pressure points along the feet, which alleviates the buildup of psoriasis plaques. A chiropodist can perform a foot assessment to find the best solutions for your psoriatic arthritis. 
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy:  This will strengthen the affected muscles and make movement easier.  Strong muscles alleviate strain on the joints, which can mitigate any damaging effects of the disease on the joints. Click here for strengthening and wellness tips specific to psoriatic arthritis, from Healthline.com.  You can also check out our stretching series for ways you can strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles at home, as well as the following blog articles:
  • Medication:  There are two categories of medications that can help with psoriatic arthritis:
    • Anti-inflammatory medication:  As the name suggests, these medications reduce inflammation, which decreases stiffness and allows the joints to move easier.  Examples include Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen.  Sometimes, corticosteroids (i.e.: prednisone and cortisone) are prescribed or injected.
    • Anti-Rheumatic medication:  These medications are designed to suppress the immune system and target the auto-immune response that causes the disease.
  • Foot Care for Psoriasis plaques: A chiropodist can safely and effectively remove the itchy, scaly psoriasis plaques on the feet during a medical pedicure or callus care appointment.

Looking for solutions to manage psoriatic arthritis in your feet? We’re here to help! Use our online booking form below or call us at 416-769-FEET(3338) to book an appointment with one of our chiropodists. We’re open 7 days a week – no referral needed!

Risks

What Puts Me At Risk For Psoriatic Arthritis?

Risk factors for developing Psoriatic Arthritis are:

  • Psoriasis
  • Family History of skin or joint disease
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection – the correlation between psoriatic arthritis and HIV still being researched. 

There is evidence that infection or trauma may contribute to the disease, but this is yet to be determined. 

Prevention

How Can I Prevent Psoriatic Arthritis?

There is no known way to prevent psoriatic arthritis. In psoriasis patients, risk factors can be mitigated with overall healthy lifestyle habits, like regular exercise, strengthening the muscles in your feet and ankles, and a balanced diet.

Our foot clinic offers many solutions for managing and preventing the effects of psoriatic arthritis.  To book an assessment with one of our foot specialists, use our online booking form or contact us at 416-769-FEET (3338) – no referral needed!

Related Blog Articles

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Emily

Administrative Assistant

Emily is the newest addition to the Feet First family. She assists with the clinic’s accounting and finances, as well as all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the clinic running smoothly. In addition to her accounting smarts, she brings sunshine and positivity to everyone at Feet First Clinic.

Erica Halpern

Marketing and Administrative Assistant (She/Her)

Part of our administrative support staff, Erica also works behind the scenes writing and editing content for our website and blog. She loves researching and writing educational content to help patients and anyone dealing with pain. When she’s not busy in the clinic, you’ll find her at her local gym, exploring underground music, hiking with friends, or cheering on her favourite sports teams (Go Jays!). She also loves huskies!

Sophie Rudahigan

Clinic Administrator (She/Her)
Sophie prides herself on providing top-tier customer service. She is here to ensure a smooth visit for all clients. In addition to overseeing the clinic’s administration and day-to-day operations, she maintains the cosmetic appearance of the store. She is the magic behind our elaborate display case designs and also ensures the clinic is stocked with stylish (but still orthopedic!) footwear options for all ages.

Bianca Carter

CEO (She/Her)

Day in and out, Bianca works hard to ensure Feet First Clinic runs smoothly. Customer service is at the top of her list and she treats every customer like family. Bianca has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to helping people take care of their feet and body. There is no problem that she can’t solve and she believes that where there is a will, there’s a way.

Carolina Charles

Patient Relation Coordinator (She/Her)

If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures.​ She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.