3 Exercises to Avoid If You Have PsA

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on November 15, 2021

People with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) might find it hard to do physical activity. One common symptom of PsA is joint pain and tenderness. If you want to keep your joints limber and reduce pain, you should exercise regularly. 

Exercising builds up muscle, which helps lower the strain on the joints. Since exercise gets your joint moving and heart pumping, it also helps reduce the risk of a comorbid or related condition. 

When you exercise with PsA, you should not do strenuous workouts. People who used to work out before being diagnosed should try to maintain their old regimen as closely as possible. 

If you were inactive earlier, you should start small. Try going for a walk. You can also cycle outdoors or opt for swimming. Tai chi and yoga are also good exercises for people with PsA. If you are uncertain, a physical therapist can make an exercise plan for you. 

Although physical activity can be helpful, there are some exercises to avoid in PsA. 


Running puts a lot of stress on your joints. If you have joint tenderness or inflammation, running may result in more pain. You should only run if you were doing it before getting diagnosed. 

Inactive people should take it slow and start with walking or jogging. Even when running, make sure you wear supportive shoes. Stop running if you experience more pain than usual. 

Weight Lifting

One symptom of PsA is poor grip. If you experience this symptom, you should not lift weights, as doing so can be harmful. 

To lift heavy weights, you must hold onto them with a powerful grip. This is not always possible for people with PsA. 

You can start with lighter weights and then increase the load gradually, or you can try exercise machines as they don't always require you to have a full-force grip. 

Doing exercise with PsA may come with additional limitations, but you should not give up. A study showed that people with PsA who exercised twice a week for 12 weeks had improved quality of life. They also had a higher functional capacity.

Repetitive Jumping

Don't do exercises that require repetitive jumping, such as jumping jacks, as this might put a strain on your knee joints. If you intend to do aerobic exercise, make sure you stretch beforehand. Do not exercise without a warm-up. 

When exercising with PsA, you might experience some stiffness and pain in the beginning. Do not let this discourage you from continuing physical activity. According to the American College of Rheumatology and National Psoriasis Foundation guidelines, exercise has many benefits for PsA. 

In summary, exercise improves strength and range of motion. It also reduces pain. 

If you have any questions about exercising safety, it is best to consult a physical therapist.

Show Sources

Arthritis & Rheumatology: "2018 American College of Rheumatology/National Psoriasis Foundation Guideline for the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis."
Arthritis Foundation: "Top 11 Workout Mistakes to Avoid."
Clinical Rheumatology: "A resistance exercise program improves the functional capacity of patients with psoriatic arthritis: a randomized controlled trial."
National Psoriasis Foundation: "Living With Psoriatic Arthritis.", "When Psoriatic Disease Strikes the Hands and Feet."

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