Health > Learn the Difference between Psoriatic Arthritis and Osteoporosis
6th Sep 2022
Psoriatic Arthritis vs Osteoporosis

Learn the Difference between Psoriatic Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Taking care of your loved ones with joint pain can be difficult, and it can get stressful when they cannot travel with you or are physically unable to move. Joint problems may be normal in ageing, but the signs and symptoms go unnoticed early on. Osteoporosis (OR) has symptoms similar to psoriatic arthritis but is different. It is a non-inflammatory condition where the joints experience pain, but no swelling. It is thought to result from the degeneration of joints or when excessive load is placed on them. Trauma and any injuries to bone structures can trigger both arthritis types in some cases. Psoriatic arthritis (PA) is marked by stress, medications, trauma, and specific infections; genetic factors may also influence it.

Differences in Symptoms between Psoriatic Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Some symptoms of PA are often confused with the ones stemming from OR. The key to figuring out their differences is identifying key characteristics which are unique to each condition.

Acute symptoms of PA, which make it different from OR, are as follows:

  • Your fingers and toes swell up

In PA, your fingers and toes will swell up, taking on a ‘sausage-like’ appearance

  • Skin rashes

The skin thickens and turns scaly and reddish. White-silvery patches may also appear on top, and these rashes are called plaques. They may also appear on the belly button, face, hands, feet, and other body areas.

  • Changes in Nail Color, Tone, and Texture

More than 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis have pitted and discoloured nails. Some symptoms may get worse over time, and it is not uncommon to find pain that More than 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis have pitted and discoloured nails. Some symptoms may get worse over time, and it is not uncommon to find pain that occurs in flares. Sometimes the pain suddenly goes away and returns in psoriatic arthritis. In osteoporosis, pain patterns are more consistent and predictable.

Other Characteristics

In OR, there will be changes in the shape of your joints, like bone spurs. PA accompanies inflammation in the eyes. Osteoporosis symptoms develop gradually over the years, while psoriatic arthritis can appear suddenly in episodes. The joint stiffness can last long, and the heels may have tenderness. There may be red or scaly spots in psoriasis. Its other symptoms include fatigue, anaemia, and the appearance of pits or ridges in the fingernails.

What are the leading arthritis causes?

The leading causes are:

  • For osteoarthritis, it happens due to wear and tear in the cartilage of the joints. Enough damage results in the fluids drying out and bones grinding against each other. The cartilage is responsible for adding cushion to the joints and ensures frictionless motion. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition when the body’s immune system attacks the joints. The main is the lining or synovial membrane getting inflamed, thus causing damage to the cartilage or joints.
  • For psoriatic arthritis cause is still unknown. Researchers state that PA develops as a result of a combination of genetic (heredity) and environmental factors.

Other causes of these pains in patients are:

  • Age – The risk factor for arthritis increases with age, especially for gout.
  • Family history – If your family has a history of getting arthritis, chances are, you can be at risk too.
  • Obesity – Being overweight or obese can put a lot of pressure on the joints, which can affect movement, and people who are obese experience back pain too.

5 Facts about Arthritis

Here are some fast facts about this disease that you should know about:

1. It can happen to anyone at any point or stage in life, and it is a general term to describe joint pain or inflammation. In reality, there are over 100 types of arthritis. OR is the most common and is related to the hips, knees, and hands.

2. Most experts don’t know its causes and can risk misdiagnosing if not careful.

3. No cure for this disease exists, but it is a disease that can be managed and treated effectively if tested early. It is widespread for patients to be diagnosed with this disease if they have other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc.

4. Physical therapy programs can help adults understand and manage both forms of this disease. Common treatments for this condition include surgery, exercise, and sometimes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Being active and losing weight can also help take pressure off the joints, thus relieving its symptoms.

5. Certain risk factors enable the acquiring of different types of this disease, and the bad news is that this disease worsens with ageing.

Arthritis Treatment Options

Common treatment options are:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Biologics
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

How to Manage Your Arthritis Symptoms Naturally

You can take arthritis medications, but you must take additional steps to manage your symptoms of arthritis effectively. You can manage this disease by going gluten-free and eating nutritious, healthy, and unprocessed foods. Eating lots of organic fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed red meat is good too.

It is best to avoid high-intensity workouts and switch to low-impact exercise so that you don’t stress your joints. Steady-state cardio is a good strategy for losing weight for those who are obese. Avoid weight-bearing exercises or bodyweight workouts until your symptoms subside. You can use splints or braces to stabilise your weight and reduce the impact on joints. Another way to manage symptoms is by using hot and cold compress packs, which reduce inflammation and pain and help decrease swelling. Connect with a doctor or certified healthcare professional for additional details on managing your symptoms.

How do Psoriatic Arthritis and Osteoporosis look on X-rays?

X-rays can help your medical professionals identify common arthritis symptoms and provide effective treatment. In PA, X-ray scans show joint damage, while for osteoarthritis, there is more wear and tear.

Other than X-rays, your healthcare professional may ask for additional tests such as blood tests, physical exams, and your medical or family history for a thorough evaluation.PA also happens where the joints and ligaments connect to bones, so those areas will pop up in your scans.

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Extreme cases of arthritis pain can make it difficult for you to function normally in day-to-day life. Too much weight on the joints can render patients immobile or hard to move. When arthritis progresses, the joints can change shape, lose alignment, and bend or break.


What are the leading rheumatoid arthritis causes?

Rheumatoid arthritis causes are unknown, but it happens when the immune system attacks your healthy bone tissues. 

Can genetics cause rheumatoid arthritis?

Genetics may be a factor, but the most probable cause of rheumatoid arthritis are lifestyle and dietary choices.

What is the best rheumatoid arthritis diet?

The best rheumatoid arthritis diet comprises whole foods, unprocessed meals, and a diet rich in whole grains, legumes, meat, raw dairy, and fatty fish.

How do I get diagnosed with psoriasis?

The dermatologist will examine your skin and look for itchiness and swelling. Your healthcare provider may take a biopsy (sample) of your skin.

What blood tests are used for evaluating psoriatic arthritis?

Blood tests such as Rheumatoid Factor (RF), C-reactive Protein, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), and Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide test are some of the many tests used for diagnosing psoriatic arthritis.

Read more:

Arthritis and its Treatment for Seniors

How to Prevent and Treat Arthritis in Seniors – Care Advice

Osteoporosis is a challenge but you can fight it