Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that involves patches of skin that are red or white and scaly. These patches can come and go and are often painful, itchy and uncomfortable.
Some people with psoriasis develop a complication, where the inflammation that is a hallmark of the condition reaches inward and begins to affect joints that surround the tissue the disease is attacking, known as psoriatic arthritis. While psoriasis in itself can be troublesome enough on its own, those plagued with its furthered condition can experience intermittent or chronic muscle and joint pain as a result. Medications including over the counter pain relievers and anti inflammatories are the most common types of psoriatic arthritis treatment, however progressed cases sometimes call for more advanced medicines including various types of prescription drugs. However, there are other important parts of psoriatic arthritis pain management that are just as if not more so important that what types of medications are used, and we’ve put together a list of the top ten tips that may help assist in pain relief for arthritis sufferers.
1. Early Detection and Treatment is Key: As with nearly all health conditions, the sooner that psoriatic arthritis is identified, the easier that it is to manage in terms of severity, flare ups and pain management. Some people who have begun treatments early on have found that their need for medications and other sources of psoriatic arthritis pain management are greatly reduced if not eliminated after a short period of time.
2. A Healthy Weight is Very Important: Being overweight can greatly contribute to the later development of further health conditions including diabetes, which can lead to complications with psoriatic arthritis. But, a healthy weight is also critical to keeping excessive strain off of inflamed joints that may already be stressed. In fact, weight control is a very important part of arthritis pain management in general, and it also helps to promote overall wellness and reduce the risk of a great many health problems as well.
3. Exercise Helps in Many Ways: In addition to the obvious way in which regular exercise can obviously contribute to a healthy weight, there are more ways in which exercise is very important to arthritis pain management. Regular exercise can help improve mobility, reduce pain and even provide stress relief. Those suffering from inflammatory arthritis can benefit from walking, riding a bike or low intensity aerobic exercise. But, anything that involves regular physical activity can be beneficial, so long as it promotes a period of healthy movement, doesn’t cause pain and is easy to do for an extended period of time.
4. Shoe Inserts and Aids Can Help Reduce Pain: It may sound silly, but many find one of the simplest tips for increasing activity is to use inexpensive tools like walking aids and shoe inserts to help in psoriatic arthritis pain management while staying in motion. These types of devices can help to reduce impact and shift weight and stress from affected joints making exercise more pleasurable and easier to enjoy.
5. Water Therapy Can Reduce Joint Stress and Pain: Many people find that water therapy is one of the very best ways to help reduce the pain caused by psoriatic arthritis. Water therapy allows for healthy physical activity with little to no strain on distressed and affected joints. And, whether its helpful or hurtful, a soak in lukewarm water does help a small majority of individuals with their skin related symptoms too. Water therapy can include everything from synchronized activities to casual swimming with friends, and it’s also an exceptional method of burning calories and getting fit.
6. Physical Therapy Can Provide Pain Relief: Sometimes the best type of activity may not be known to sufferers, and physical therapy can be an important part of arthritis pain management. Trained professionals can help guide and teach movements that are designed to both increase mobility and reduce pain. In time, symptoms can be reduced as joints are trained to function properly and without discomfort.
7. Alternative Treatments Are Available: There are all sorts of alternative treatments available for psoriatic arthritis. Some are proven, and others such as the cooking spice turmeric which is known for natural anti inflammatory properties, are little more than sometimes successful home remedies for psoriasis. However, some alternative treatments are far too overlooked, such as Whole Body Cryotherapy, a treatment that uses cold therapy to help stimulate the immune system and reduce pain. The technology was originally popularized as a tool for chronic pain management for sufferers of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, many of whom found that their symptoms were reduced or eliminated and that their overall feelings of well being we improved. Cryotherapy may also provide dermal benefits to the skin related symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, making it an ideal option to consider for those seeking a well rounded treatment option.
8. Splinting Can Be Beneficial: Those seeking hip pain relief are out of luck in terms of splints or braces, but for people whose arthritis is contained to the hands, lower legs or forearms, splints and braces can be incredibly helpful. They can help to restrict unnatural or painful movements and also help to reduce some of the stress that can be placed on particularly painful joints. These types of tools can be an important part of arthritis pain management, with finger splints and wrist braces being amongst the most popular.
9. Warming Up Can Help Reduce Pain Throughout the Day: Physical activity is very important to reducing the often daily pain that can come along with psoriatic arthritis. However, doing it correctly is just as if not more important. Stretching or warming up prior to physical activity can not only help to reduce joint and muscle pain, it can also help to prevent serious injury, which can be at an increased risk in persons with psoriatic arthritis.
10. Pacing and Conservative Use Can Decrease Discomfort: Some simple tricks can help to reduce pain throughout the day or when flare ups of psoriatic arthritis are present. One of these methods is called pacing, and it refers to the practice of alternating more intense activities with less intense activities to alternate strain. For instance, those who have to type regularly for work may want to pace their activities and alternate repetitive typing with tasks that involve other joints like walking or bending. Aside from pacing, many find that conservative use can also be an important part of arthritis pain management. Conservative use refers to making changes that can help reduce strain on particularly affected joints. For instance, switching out a handbag that aggravates painful joints in the hand and wrist for a shoulder bag that puts the strain and pressure on a less problematic joint can be incredibly useful.