Chiropractic may be beneficial for some types of arthritis. However, it may not be recommended for inflammatory conditions like psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Speak with a doctor before starting chiropractic.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory condition. It’s associated with psoriasis, which is an autoimmune skin condition.

PsA may cause swelling, stiffness, and tenderness in your tendons and joints, which could be painful.

Chiropractic may serve as a hands-on complementary therapy. It aims to help your body heal itself.

Chiropractors use over 150 techniques to help treat conditions of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. They can’t prescribe medications or perform surgery, but they can:

  • examine you
  • diagnose health conditions
  • develop a personalized treatment plan

Keep reading to learn more about how chiropractic may help relieve PsA symptoms.

Chiropractic may benefit people living with neck pain, lower back pain, and osteoarthritis.

But, there is insufficient evidence to show it’s beneficial for PsA.

The main type of chiropractic treatment is called an adjustment or manipulation. Chiropractors use their hands or special instruments to put varying amounts of pressure on your spine, joints, and muscles. This may help:

  • relieve soreness
  • prevent muscle spasms
  • realign joints to help them work better
  • improve movement

There is little research on chiropractic as a remedy to help treat PsA.

According to the Arthritis Foundation (AF), chiropractic may be beneficial for osteoarthritis.

But you may need to be careful if you have PsA. This is because it’s an inflammatory condition. A chiropractor’s adjustments may be gentle, but they may trigger more inflammation.

Speak with a doctor about your treatment options for PsA. They’ll help you develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. For example, they may suggest chiropractic as an addition to traditional therapies, including:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • biological treatments
  • steroid injections

Your first visit to a chiropractor will be similar to your first visit to a doctor. The chiropractor will ask about your medical history and PsA symptoms.

Then, they’ll perform a physical exam, which may include:

  • examining the areas of your spine that are causing symptoms
  • checking your range of motion, muscle strength, and reflexes
  • an X-ray of your spine

Once these tests are complete, the chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to help treat your symptoms. For example, the plan may include relieving pain, increasing mobility, and improving your range of motion.

During your treatment sessions, the chiropractor may use different manipulation techniques to help adjust, align, and stretch specific joints and muscles. These techniques can range from sharp thrusts to slow pulling movements.

These movements may target the joints, muscles, or soft tissues in different areas of your body, including:

  • spine
  • knees
  • wrists
  • shoulders

Chiropractors also use other types of therapies that don’t involve manipulation, including:

  • ultrasound
  • heat or ice
  • electrical stimulation
  • exercise
  • dietary advice

You’ll typically have a series of chiropractic sessions. You’ll see your chiropractor for a few weeks until your pain and function improve.

It’s important to let your chiropractor know if you experience any pain. This is to avoid further pain and damage.

Chiropractic is typically safe, but there may be some side effects.

According to The Royal College of Chiropractors, up to 50% of people experience mild side effects after chiropractic manipulation. Mild side effects could last up to 24 hours. These may include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • stiffness
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • tiredness
  • fatigue
  • arm tingling

Serious side effects are rare. But they may include a slipped disk and stroke. The risk of stroke or vessel dissection is primarily related to neck manipulation and its effect on your vertebral arterial vessels. It’s not a cardiovascular disease-related stroke.

Should you go to a chiropractor if you have arthritis?

Chiropractic may help relieve inflammation and joint pain and improve your range of motion. It may be beneficial for some types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis. However, it may also pose risks. For example, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, neck and cervical manipulation can pose specific harm, such as:

  • instability of the spine
  • risk of causing damage to your spinal cord
  • paralysis of all four limbs

Speaking with your rheumatologist (a doctor specializing in treating musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases) is important before getting chiropractic therapy.

Certain types of chiropractic techniques may not help certain inflammatory conditions.

Chiropractic is a treatment that aims to let the body heal itself. Chiropractors use many different techniques to help alleviate pain and increase the range of motion.

If you’re considering chiropractic to help treat your symptoms of PsA, it’s important to speak with a doctor first. Doctors usually do not recommend this treatment for people with active inflammation.

You should also be careful of a chiropractor who claims they can treat or cure your PsA, as no studies suggest they can cure PsA.

Consider working with a doctor or a specialist doctor to help develop the best treatment plan for you.