Psoriatic Arthritis: Nonmedical Treatments
Drugs aren’t the only way to ease the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Many natural methods can help you feel better.
The best way to improve your symptoms is to get moving. Low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, tai chi, or swimming help ease your joint pain and stiffness, or relieve fatigue.
You should also do range-of-motion exercises every day. These simple stretches can help you keep your joints flexible and ease stiffness.
Do exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Your doctor or physical therapist can give you an activity plan to keep your body fit.
Yoga and tai chi are two gentle forms of exercise that help ease psoriatic arthritis symptoms. These movements can lessen pain and boost your range of motion. Take classes to learn the moves, or follow a video at home. These activities may also help you relax, ease your stress, and sleep better.
Talk to your doctor to make sure a new exercise program is safe for you. Tell your exercise teacher that you have psoriatic arthritis, so you don’t do any moves that could hurt your joints.
Treatments for Joint Pain and Stiffness
Massage may loosen up muscles, ease pain or stiffness, and help you relax your joints. You may get this treatment in a spa or clinic, or 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 spots on your body in order to relieve pain. An acupressure therapist presses firmly into your skin with fingers.
Ask your doctor to help you find a good therapist. You should also tell any therapist that you have psoriatic arthritis before you begin treatment.
Herbs and supplements for psoriatic arthritis include aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, capsaicin from hot peppers, Dead Sea salts, oats, Oregon grape, tea tree oil, and turmeric. They claim to treat joint pain and inflammation, or ease skin rashes.
No medical studies prove that these treatments will ease your symptoms, though. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t control these products, and they may not contain the ingredients listed on the package. Use caution and talk to your doctor before trying any supplements.
Try to stay at a healthy weight. It may help ease your inflammation, joint pain, and fatigue. Psoriatic arthritis can make it more likely for you to get heart disease, so it’s important to eat a healthy, nutritious diet and stop smoking.
Some people claim that certain diets, such as eating only gluten-free foods, will ease inflammation. Your symptoms may get better if you follow these diets, but there's no proof they work.