You want to do something about your sore and swollen joints. Can you save yourself a trip to the doctor? Do you really have to take that prescription?
Medications aren't the only way to ease these symptoms. But you'll probably need to take something to control inflammation and prevent long-term joint damage. Don't try to treat psoriatic arthritis without your doctor's help.
Not sure what to talk to your doctor about at your next appointment? Think about how well your treatment is working and if it's right for you. Start with these questions as a guide:
Does my current treatment prevent ongoing joint damage?
Do the benefits of my medication outweigh the risks of taking it?
Would another prescription drug be safer or more effective?
What are the side effects of my medication?
Would making lifestyle changes allow me to try a medicine with fewer side effects?
Whether or not you're taking medication, you can try other things to help you feel better.
The best way to improve your symptoms is to get moving with gentle, low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, yoga, and tai chi. Movement can lessen pain and expand your range of motion. These activities may also help you relax, ease your stress, and sleep better.
Do simple stretches every day to help you work out the kinks and keep your joints flexible.
You should also do exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Your doctor or physical therapist can set you up with a plan to keep your body fit.
Before you start a new kind of exercise, talk to your doctor to make sure it's safe for you. To learn an exercise like yoga or tai chi, take a class where you can have someone check your form. Tell your teacher or trainer that you have psoriatic arthritis, so they don't let you do any moves that could hurt your joints.
Massage may loosen up muscles, ease pain and stiffness, and help you relax your joints. Spas and clinics offer massages, or you could have a massage therapist come to your home.
Acupuncture and acupressure may also ease your pain. In acupuncture, the therapist inserts tiny, thin needles into specific spots on your body related to your pain. An acupressure therapist presses firmly into your skin with fingers instead.
Ask your doctor to help you find a good therapist. You should also tell them about your condition before you begin treatment.
Heat and Cold
You may get temporary relief by applying a different temperature around your sore joints.
Moist heat can also help relax aching muscles and ease soreness and stiffness. Use a warm towel, heat pack, or paraffin bath, or take a warm (not hot) bath or shower.
Cold therapy can bring down swelling and numb pain. Use a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.