How to Protect Joints With Psoriatic Arthritis

The way you position and move your body while you're doing a task might not only protect your joints. It may also help you save energy and feel less tired.

As you go about your day, pay attention to how you do things. Use your joints in a way that creates the least amount of stress on them. Try to spread the workload throughout your body to avoid overworking the joints affected by psoriatic arthritis, so you can keep using them.

Good Posture and Planning

Start with the basics. Sit and stand up straight. Don't arch your back.

Change your body position often. Standing or sitting for long periods of time will tire your muscles.

Let larger, stronger joints do the work instead of smaller ones whenever possible. For example, carry a shoulder bag rather than a hand-held purse. Push things with your hips and legs -- don't pull with your hands and arms.

When you move something, keep the weight of it low and close to your body. Use two hands whenever you can.

Learn to pace yourself. Alternate heavy, hard, or repetitive tasks with light or easy tasks, or take breaks. If you're still sore an hour later, you pushed yourself too hard or did too much at one time.

Splints

Splinting can help with inflammation or problems with joint alignment and stability. Wearing a splint can also lessen joint damage.

Use wrist or finger splints to help rest your joints at night or to hold them in a comfortable position during work or exercise. The idea is to support them, not make them totally frozen.

You also need to take off splints regularly and do gentle range-of-motion exercises to keep your joint flexible.

Assistive Devices

Certain tools and gadgets can relieve stress on your joints, and make it easier and more comfortable to do daily tasks. Examples of these include:

  • Canes
  • Grab bars
  • Extra-thick pens
  • Luggage carts
  • Sit/stand stools

An occupational therapist can help you find devices that will make your life easier and teach you how to use them.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 22, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Psoriatic Arthritis."

The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance: "Occupational Therapy and Psoriatic Arthritis."

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