Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 17, 2018
John Goldman, MD
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Don’t let joint pain from psoriatic arthritis hold you back from regular exercise. Here’s why it’s important to tone your muscles.
What it's like to live with joint pain and psoriasis.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I would encourage anyone with this disease to explore support options, like those available through the National Psoriasis Foundation. It could change your life!
Help others with psoriatic arthritis find inspiration and guidance.
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