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.

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.

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

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WebMD Voices

Jaime Lyn M., 42
Detroit
Living with psoriatic arthritis is like playing Pac-Man. You gobble up dots (do your daily activities) before the ghosts (psoriatic arthritis symptoms) get you. Cherries are like medicine -- they turn the ghosts invisible for a little while.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
I thought that exercising would increase the pain in my hips, but movement has actually decreased the inflammation and has increased my mobility. Now I take two walks daily.
Michele S., 68
Cornville, AZ
While others may not be able to understand fully the pain and challenges you face, it doesn’t mean they can’t care. Talk openly and share your struggles and strengths with those who ask.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
Don't let pain keep you from moving your body. Start slow by doing what you can, even just 5-minute walks. Then make it a daily habit and increase as your body allows.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
My chronic pain got so bad that I couldn't hold a pencil. My wife and I decided as a team that the potential benefit to my quality of life was worth the risk of trying a biologic. Two weeks later, I was able to resume my normal work routine.
Jaime Lyn M., 42
Detroit
Psoriatic arthritis is the hidden component of the psoriasis that people can't see. I try and educate everyone I can on the chronic pain so they understand what I deal with, often daily.
Chad V., 42
Atlanta
I've been on several different medications, all with their pros and cons, but thanks to trial and error, my skin is now clear and I can move. It’s worth pushing through until you find the treatment you need.
Rich W., 57
South Brunswick Township, NJ
When trying something new, tell your doctor about anything that comes up. Do blood tests on a regular basis. And give treatments time to work -- it can sometimes take months to see a change.
Amie R., 33
Maricopa, AZ
I’ve been able to connect with so many people going through what I’m going through because of social media. It’s so helpful to talk to others who understand not only the physical toll, but the emotional toll this condition can take.
Amie R., 33
Maricopa, AZ
I was so used to covering my psoriasis up, I thought I could mask the arthritis, too. But soon, both elbows were an issue and my fingers and knees were swelling. Don’t put off treating your symptoms in hopes that they’ll go away. Get the help you need.
Chad V., 42
Atlanta
I ignored my symptoms because I was embarrassed. Now I allow anyone and everyone to see me for me and my struggles because I know I'm not alone. It’s lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and makes days with flares much easier.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
I would encourage anyone with this disease to explore support options, like those available through the National Psoriasis Foundation. It could change your life!

From WebMD

More Information on Psoriatic Arthritis