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How to Prevent and Ease Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Although you can't prevent psoriatic arthritis completely, there are plenty of ways to soothe its symptoms or even stop them before they start. With a combo of exercise, medicines, and other treatments, you can calm aches or swelling and feel better.

Your doctor can let you know exactly what you need to do. Chances are good that these tactics will be high on the list, along with taking your prescriptions.

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Psoriatic Arthritis and Other Health Problems

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and swelling in your joints. It sometimes comes along with psoriasis, a disease that affects the skin. It can also be linked with other serious conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Although there’s no sure reason why these conditions go hand-in-hand, researchers are looking for the links that bind them. The connection may be inflammation, says Eric Matteson, MD. He's the rheumatology chair at Mayo Clinic in Rochester,...

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Get Moving

Are you cautious about exercise? You can get out there, as long as you stick with what your doctor said is OK for you (probably low-impact activities, like walking, swimming, or biking). You’ll need to pace yourself, too.

When you make exercise a habit, you can:

  • Ease arthritis symptoms.
  • Improve how you move.
  • Become stronger and more flexible.
  • Keep your weight healthy, which takes some pressure off your joints.
  • Help your heart.
  • Boost your mood.
  • Give yourself more energy.

You can work out on your own or with the help of a physical therapist. Warm up first, so your muscles can ease into it.

One of your best bets is water therapy, also called hydrotherapy or aqua therapy. It’s an exercise program held in a pool. The water takes some of the weight off your joints, so it may be easier for you to do.

Whatever exercise you choose, pick one that you like so you'll want to do it regularly. Also, try to be active throughout your day. Garden, walk your dog an extra time, and stretch while you’re at your kid’s sports practice.

Use Hot and Cold

Moist heat -- like with a warm towel, hot pack, or a warm bath or shower -- can relax achy muscles and relieve stiffness and joint pain.

Cold -- a bag of ice or even frozen veggies wrapped in a towel -- can cut back on swelling and ease pain.

3 Ways to Protect Your Joints

You don’t have to give up the activities you love. Just look for ways to do them that take the stress off your joints.

The way you walk, sit, stand, or hold things (good body mechanics) can help. Change your position at work, at home, and throughout the day. Sit and stand up straight, and don't arch your back. Good posture helps you feel better.

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