Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

The pain and discomfort of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can be hard to manage. But you can take steps to keep the pain at bay that don’t involve more pills, prescription creams, or another visit to your doctor.

These more natural methods won’t cure you. But if you talk to your doctor and work together to come up with a plan, these home-grown remedies might help ease your aching joints.

Lose Weight

If you have PsA and you're overweight, you're more likely to have pain, tender and swollen joints, and other symptoms than people who aren’t carrying extra pounds, a recent study showed. You’re also prone to other illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. And it could make it hard for your doctor to figure out the right dose of medication to prescribe for your condition.

Drop the weight and you’ll ease the symptoms that come with this painful condition, the National Psoriasis Foundation says.

Eat Right

These tips will help you stick with a healthy diet:

  • Load your plate with fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, as they can increase swelling.
  • Eat only lean meats and poultry, and lots of fish.
  • Choose healthy proteins, like beans and nuts.
  • Limit alcohol. (You should check with your doctor anyway to make sure that nightcap or occasional beer isn’t affecting the medications you already take.)
  • Say “no” to refined sugar and processed foods, especially those that are high in fats.
  • Go low-fat or fat-free with dairy products.
  • Keep track of your cholesterol and how much salt you eat.

Get Exercise

It improves your heath and keeps your joints flexible. If you don’t move enough, you could get stiff joints and muscle weakness, the American College of Rheumatology says.

Two good choices are riding an exercise bike or walking. Use shoe inserts to avoid too much pressure on your feet, ankles, or knees.

You might also try water exercises, like swimming or walking laps in the pool. You’ll get a good workout but won’t stress your joints.

Why Exercise Helps Psoriatic ArthritisDon’t let joint pain from psoriatic arthritis hold you back from regular exercise. Here’s why it’s important to tone your muscles.110

[MUSIC PLAYING]

JOHN GOLDMAN: I've always told

my patients that exercise is

important, no matter what they

have.

Sometimes patients

with arthritis have problems

exercising

because

of the joint involvement,

and therefore, it hurts,

and they want to stay away

from exercise.

Even if you have arthritis,

the muscle tone

is important for protection.

It helps protect the joint.

One of the important reasons

for movement when you have

psoriatic arthritis

is that you don't end up

with a stiff joint.

And if you don't use it,

you lose it.

So you need the muscle tone

in order to make

sure your joints are

able to work,

and you need the muscle tone

from the exercise

so that your joints will feel

better.

Another benefit of exercise

is it releases these chemicals

in your body

called endorphins, which are

basically the body's own uppers.

You make this yourself.

And it gives you a better

feeling about yourself,

about the day, and you can sleep

better at night.

My patients will ask me,

what type of exercise

they should do,

and what I tell them is do

an exercise you like to do.

Some people walk their dog.

I think that's great.

Break it up during the day

with different activities,

meaningful activities

that you really look forward

doing.

When you have

psoriatic arthritis

of your knees, they will hurt,

so you've got to look

at alternative exercise, things

like swimming, elliptical,

getting off your feet.

And so what you can do is try

to unload that joint,

but at the same time,

move those muscles.

Start today with one minute.

Tomorrow, make it two minutes

each time.

And slowly build it up.

Why do we want you to exercise?

Because it's not only

important for your psoriatic

arthritis,

it's

important for your total self.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

John Goldman, MD/delivery/0a/b0/0ab0891d-42e7-47b4-ba99-2a51ca81c684/vd-1378-why-does-exercise-work-for-pa_,750k,400k,1000k,2500k,4500k,.mp401/05/2018 13:58:0000woman in yoga class/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/why_exercise_helps_psoriatic_arthritis_video/650x350_why_exercise_helps_psoriatic_arthritis_video.jpg091e9c5e81586e96

Use Heat and Cold Therapy

Ice reduces swelling, and heat can increase the blood flow through an inflamed area. You might need a little practice to see what feels best for you.

Slow Down

Stress can cause your PsA to flare up. Lower your risk by doing things that relax you. Try yoga, meditation, going for a walk, or reading a good book.

Set Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Goals With Your DoctorThe earlier you treat your psoriatic arthritis, the better chances you have of slowing or stopping joint damage. And remission is possible, so work with your doctor to track your progress.129

[MUSIC PLAYING]

SPEAKER 1: In the US, up to 30%

of people with psoriasis

also develop

psoriatic arthritis.



Psoriatic arthritis

is an inflammatory type

of arthritis that can cause

pain, stiffness, and swelling

in one or more joints.

If not treated, it can cause

permanent damage.



The earlier psoriatic arthritis

is treated, the better chances

you have of slowing or stopping

joint damage.



There have been lots

of treatment breakthroughs

in the last 10 years.

And for most patients, remission

is possible.



SPEAKER 2: So remission

is the goal.

And that defines a state

of low disease activity where

there's not

a lot of inflammation.

There's not a lot of pain.

And the joints-- we have studies

that show that people

on these drugs,

they don't progress as rapidly,

and sometimes they stop

progressing in joint damage

altogether.



SPEAKER 1: There are

several types of medicines

to treat psoriatic arthritis.

But it can take time to find

the treatment that will work

best for you.

So work closely with your doctor

to monitor your progress.



SPEAKER 2:

The goal of our treatment

is to help the skin,

to decrease the pain,

and to prevent

joint destruction.



The skin is very important.

It's important not just

for its appearance, but the skin

is the barrier to bad things

in the environment.

You don't want to have open skin

lesions that are

prone to infection.



In terms of the joints, the goal

is to prevent joint damage.



SPEAKER 1: Everyone's body is

different, so no treatment plan

will be the same.

Educating yourself will help.



SPEAKER 2: Many studies

in many different arenas

have shown that the patient who

is more

knowledgeable

about their condition

does better.

So ask your doctor.



Ask them for the rationale--

why are you using this medicine

instead of this other one?

Why is the thing that I saw

on television not appropriate

for me?

And be part of it.



SPEAKER 1: So talk

to your doctor about the best

treatment plan for you.

Arthritis Foundation: "Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment," "How Common Is Psoriatic Arthritis in People with Psoriasis?" <br> Gary Botstein, MD, Emory at Decatur Rheumatology /delivery/32/5d/325d2016-5d8d-4090-814a-4e6c0c6d0826/expert-voices-set-goals-with-your-doctor-for-pa_,400k,4500k,2500k,750k,1000k,.mp412/10/2018 16:31:00650350wrist pain/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/set_goals_with_your_doctor_pa_video/650x350_set_goals_with_your_doctor_pa_video.jpg091e9c5e81b601fc

Ask Your Doctor About Alternative Remedies

One herb, turmeric, has been found to reduce PsA flare-ups. But some herb-based treatments that you buy over-the-counter can cause serious side effects if you take them with your medications. Talk to your doctor before you use them.

Acupressure gives some people relief. That’s where a therapist applies slight pressure on key points on your body to ease pain and stress, increase blood flow, and boost your immune system. Scientists can’t prove it works for PsA, though.

Simple massage therapy might help, too. It stretches muscles and joints, and it can help you relax.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 07, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: “Epidemiology of psoriatic arthritis in the population of the United States.”

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases: “Obesity is associated with a lower probability of achieving sustained minimal disease activity state among patients with psoriatic arthritis.”

Arthritis Foundation: “How Overweight and Obesity Affect Psoriatic Arthritis,” “Psoriatic Arthritis Treatments.”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Diet and Nutrition,” “Anti-Inflammatory Diet."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?”

American College of Rheumatology: “Psoriatic Arthritis.”

Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: “Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment.”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Living With Psoriatic Arthritis,” “Stress and psoriatic disease,” “Herbs/Natural Remedies,” “Alternative Therapies.”

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