Tips To Manage Psoriatic Arthritis
By Freedom 360
Medically reviewed by Freedom 360 Panel of Doctors
Joint pain and skin flares from psoriatic arthritis can make your days a big challenge to get through. The good news is that good lifestyle habits and proper treatment can help so that you can live a full and active life. The objective in managing your condition is to aim for remission, where you get better control of symptoms and a return to normal function.
Maintain/ lose weight
As psoriatic arthritis affects your joints, knees and hips, carrying extra weight will put more pressure on those joints. Losing weight helps lighten the load and reduce the pressure on your sensitive joints. Research has shown a link between inflammatory arthritis of any type and vascular disease. Evidence continues to mount that if you have inflammatory arthritis, your arteries tend to plaque up quicker. This includes the arteries in your heart and your brain, so you want to maintain a healthy weight to help prevent not only heart attack, but also stroke.
A healthy diet helps decrease inflammation which is at the core of psoriatic arthritis. Including Omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and vitamins C, E and D while limiting the amount of natural and artificial sugar in your diet can decrease the inflammation and the risk of developing diabetes.
Regular exercise helps keep psoriatic arthritis joints moving, preventing swelling and decreasing inflammation.
Heat, Massage, Baths
Infrared saunas, warm hydrotherapy, massage and Epsom salt baths help decrease inflammation in joints and keep them moving.
Acupuncture is an effective way to reduce pain, swelling, and improve mobility. Research has shown that it reduces pain in 44 per cent of the people who uses it regularly.i
Dealing with Psoriatic Arthritis Flare
Many people with psoriatic arthritis have also found that heat and ice can reduce the pain of a flare-up. Patients should experiment to find the combination that works best for them. One common method is to use ice during the initial phase of the flare-up when swelling is most intense. Then when the inflammation is beginning to settle and there’s only some aching involved, a heating pad can be applied.
Devices that may be helpful to make walking less painful include braces, walkers, crutches, and orthotics. If flare-ups occur in the hands or arms, splints might be used. To find out if you can benefit from any of these assistive devices, consult your doctor or your physical therapist.