Symptoms & Signs

of Psoriatic Arthritis

Individuals with psoriatic arthritis will typically have documented psoriasis consisting of characteristic thick, red skin with silvery patches and nail changes.

Joint Signs & Symptoms

  • Joint pain and reduced physical mobility
  • Pain and swelling commonly felt in hands, feet, and even hip joints.
  • Sausage-like fingers or toes (dactylitis)
  • Swelling along the entire length of finger(s) and toe(s).
  • Tenderness (enthesitis)
  • Tenderness or pain where tendons and ligaments attach to bones.

General Signs & Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Periods of extreme tiredness.

Back pain can be a symptom of psoriatic spondylitis  which usually occurs in  men who have onset of psoriasis late in life.  Back pain may involve one, or both sacroiliac joints.  Back pain is worse in the morning, getting out of bed, and is associated with spine stiffness.  Spondylitis may affect the low back, chest, and/or the neck.   In the cervical spine, limitation of motion is a primary manifestation of neck involvement.  The activity of skin and nail disease does not necessarily correlate with joint or spine involvement.

Next: Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis


Silman AJ, Hochberg MC. Epidemiology of the rheumatic diseases. 2nd edition: Oxford University Press; 2001.

Helmick CG, Felson DT, Lawrence RC et al. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Part I. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2008;58:15-25.

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease. Handout on Health: Arthritis.