Thanks for visiting to read about my story and learn how I’ve been able to stay “On Course” after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

We are lucky in life when we can pursue our passion, as I’ve been able to do in my career. Every day I’m thankful that I can play golf and spend quality time with my wife and my three children. But my life as I knew it was suddenly turned upside down when I began experiencing joint stiffness and severe pain.

In the months leading up to a prior U.S. Open, I developed pain near my ankle that made it difficult to walk, and my left index finger and right wrist felt as if they were sprained. At first, I thought these aches could be caused by years of practicing and playing golf and that they would eventually pass. Then, after two days of preparing for the U.S. Open, I awoke and the pain in my joints was so intense I could hardly get out of bed.

With the support of my loved ones, I decided to act quickly and educate myself about my symptoms. I found a rheumatologist who was able to provide me with some answers as to why I was feeling so badly. In the week following the U.S. Open, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

My rheumatologist explained that psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis caused by an overactive immune system that can affect not only the body’s joints but also the skin. I’m not alone. About 1 million Americans have psoriatic arthritis. Like rheumatoid arthritis, people with psoriatic arthritis may experience pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. Psoriatic arthritis patients may also have skin lesions that are similar to those seen in patients with plaque psoriasis. However, there are important differences between these three conditions, making it crucial to see a rheumatologist or dermatologist who can make the right diagnosis and help you manage your condition.
Once I saw my rheumatologist and received the information I needed to understand my symptoms, learn about my diagnosis and make an informed decision about my treatment options, I felt empowered and confident that together we would find the right treatment to manage my condition. We discussed the benefits and risks of each option and made a decision on which would be best for me. Since then, I have been diligent about taking my treatment and have followed my rheumatologist’s recommendations to improve my overall health to help me stay “On Course” both professionally and at home. I’ve continued to play golf and have been able to keep doing fun things with my family, like playing catch or going for a swim or a hike. I feel good again!
Every patient is different so I encourage anyone with symptoms like I had to see a specialist right away. Whether you’re already being treated for psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or plaque psoriasis, or if the symptoms described here sound familiar, be strong, and take action.

Talking with your doctor to make sure you have the right diagnosis and treatment plan is crucial. So talk with your specialist today to make sure you too can stay “On Course.”

This experience inspired me to join forces with Amgen to help increase awareness and understanding of psoriatic arthritis and other related conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis.

You can learn more about ways to better manage your condition and get connected to available resources out there. One example of a helpful resource is Be Joint Smart, a program of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) which is dedicated to patients with psoriatic disease. By getting an early diagnosis, and understanding the benefits and risks of treatment options, I was able to start my treatment right away with the goal of helping to slow or stop the progression of damage to my joints.

I hope that you will find my story helpful and that you too will take action so that you can continue to stay “On Course”!

Phil Mickelson

Are you experiencing joint pain or skin symptoms?

Psoriatic arthritis shares some of its symptoms and its possible causes with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis. People with psoriatic arthritis may experience pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. In diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, early diagnosis and treatment are key as joint damage can occur early in the course of the disease. An early diagnosis and appropriate treatment program may help to stop or slow progression of irreversible joint damage. Additionally, psoriatic arthritis patients may also have skin lesions similar to those seen in patients with plaque psoriasis. Those lesions appear as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup. For people with plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, skin inflammation can become a significant problem in their everyday lives. Many patients with psoriatic arthritis and/or plaque psoriasis may remain undiagnosed or untreated. It’s a good idea to speak to your doctor right away if you have any symptoms associated with these conditions.

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