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Psoriatic Arthritis -- Treatment


Can heat or cold therapy help psoriatic arthritis?

Heat and cold therapy involves alternating moist heat and cold applications to affected joints to provide temporary relief of the pain and swelling associated with psoriatic arthritis. Moist heat, supplied by a warm towel, hot pack, or warm bath or shower, can help relax aching muscles and relieve joint pain and soreness.

Cold therapy, supplied by a bag of ice or even a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, can reduce swelling and relieve pain by numbing the affected joints.


When is surgery necessary for treating psoriatic arthritis?

Most people with psoriatic arthritis will never require surgery. But when everything else fails to help, a surgical procedure called a synovectomy may be required to restore joint function or remove inflamed portions of the joint's soft tissues. Severely damaged joints may require arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery, in which damaged joints are replaced with synthetic ones to restore function in the affected area. Joint fusions also may be needed to take care of pain that doesn't respond to medications -- for example, in wrists, ankles, fingers, or toes. Surgery can relieve pain, increase movement, or improve the physical appearance of the affected area.

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Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on March 08, 2014

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