What does PsA feel like?

PsA (psoriatic arthritis) is an inflammatory immune-mediated disease, but its effects can go far beyond that.1,2 As well as causing tiredness, pain, stiffness and swelling, you may find it difficult to sleep and notice nail changes or even redness and pain in your eyes.2 It’s also common for people with PsA to feel frustrated and unhappy, especially as you may find it harder to do simple things you took for granted.1 Social and psychological difficulties are common in people with PsA1 – you’re twice as likely to suffer from depression than if you have psoriasis alone.3 If you have PsA and are feeling low, whether or not this is because your symptoms aren’t under control, please speak to your doctor so that your physical or mental health, or both, can be treated.


Use a backpack instead of a shoulder bag to spread the load.*


If you suffer from PsA, you may already know that it can appear to come and go.4 At times, your symptoms may seem under control, but at other times not as much.4 You may suffer mildly at one point, and severely at another.2,4 If you feel that your PsA isn’t under control, it’s important to speak to your healthcare professional – we’ve put together some tips to help you. If PsA isn’t properly treated it can lead to permanent joint damage,2 but your doctor is there to help you, and to make sure you’re on the right treatment for you. 

Below, you’ll find the common symptoms of PsA, although not everyone has all of them2 – which do you recognise?


  • Swelling in fingers and toes

Pain and stiffness

  • Pain and stiffness for most of the day
  • Usually worse in the morning
  • Discomfort at night



  • Feeling more tired than usual


  • A change in the way your nails look

Red, painful eyes

  • Redness and pain in your eyes, a bit like ‘pinkeye’


Top tips to soothe symptoms


Want to make the most of your doctor’s appointment?

If you are experiencing symptoms, or don’t feel that your treatment is controlling your PsA, please speak to your healthcare professional. Take a look at our helpful tips to help you have a productive conversation during your next appointment.

Speaking to your doctor


 How is PsA diagnosed?

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*Representative of patient experience

1.    WebMD. The emotional effects of psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis/the-emotional-toll-of-psoriatic-arthritis Accessed: June 2020.
2.    National Psoriasis Foundation. About psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis Accessed: June 2020.
3.    WebMD. Do you have depression and psoriatic arthritis? Available at: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis/depression-and-psoriatic-arthritis#1 Accessed: June 2020.
4.    Lee S, et al. Pharm and Ther 2010;35(12):680-9.
5.    Krajewska-Włodarczyk M, et al. Reum 2018;56(5):301-6.