MARANA, Ariz. (AP) - Phil Mickelson played a practice round at Pebble Beach before the U.S. Open last year and was walking back to his car when he felt pain in his ankle, hip and even his finger. It was uncomfortable, but no great cause for alarm.
Phil Mickelson was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis
"I thought it might just be wear and tear of the joints over the years," he said.
The scare came a week after the U.S. Open during a family holiday in Hawaii when the pain returned.
"I went and laid down on the couch, and it hurt so bad to move," Mickelson said. "Thereafter, I went to try to play golf and the pain had gone to my shoulder. I couldn't take the club back halfway. And I was concerned about the impact on my golf career."
Mickelson was lucky to detect it early.
He immediately saw a rheumatologist in San Diego, then went to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. Both agreed that he had psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes pain, stiffness and swelling around the joints.
Mickelson was able to get on a treatment plan, and he felt good enough to resume his full workouts by November.
But it left a lasting impression, and now Mickelson wants to do his part to help educate others about the disease.
Mickelson has created a partnership with Amgen and Pfizer, Inc. and will launch a public awareness campaign Wednesday called "On Course with Phil." The idea is for people with psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or plaque psoriasis to have it diagnosed early and get on a treatment program that's best for them.
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