Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic form of inflammatory arthritis. It can develop in people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes patches of scaly skin that can be red, purple, or gray.
Psoriatic arthritis often affects the joints, leading to symptoms such as:
- joint pain
- joint swelling
- joint stiffness
- lower back pain
- foot pain
- swollen fingers or toes
There’s no cure, so treating psoriatic arthritis is a priority. Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and pain.
There are also natural remedies and lifestyle changes that may help relieve symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which come from fish, are known to help with inflammation.
One 2018 study found that people living with psoriatic arthritis who took fish oil supplements experienced improvements in disease activity. They also didn’t have to rely as much on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
Healthy fish oils are found in:
Fish oils are also available as a dietary supplement. High levels can interfere with some medications, so talk with your doctor before taking fish oil supplements.
Turmeric, an herb in the ginger family, may help ease psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flare-ups. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are a frequent topic of study.
You can add a touch of turmeric to almost any dish. It’s also available as a dietary supplement. Ask your doctor or naturopathic practitioner to advise you about the correct dosage.
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers which makes them spicy.
It’s also thought to help lower levels of inflammation in the body and improve psoriasis symptoms like skin darkening and scaling.
However, research is needed to evaluate how beneficial this ingredient is for psoriatic arthritis, specifically.
Some of the foods you eat may trigger an inflammatory response. Findings from a
Findings from this study also supported the notion that a plant-based diet can help you reach and maintain a moderate weight and reduce inflammation in the body. Excess weight can add stress to your joints and interfere with mobility.
However, further research is needed on the anti-inflammatory benefits of a vegan diet.
It’s hard to think about exercise when experiencing joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. But exercise can help strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. Staying active can also help you maintain a moderate weight so you put less stress on your joints and muscles.
Walking is a great psoriatic arthritis-friendly activity. If your joints are bothering you, try exercising in a pool. The water will help you build strength without taxing your joints and muscles.
If you don’t have time for a daily workout, take several 10-minute breaks to stretch and perform range-of-motion exercises. Your doctor, physical therapist, or trainer can recommend specific exercises for your condition.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into the body in certain areas in an effort to find relief from certain ailments. It’s known for helping with pain.
However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, there’s no evidence to support its use in psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, specifically. If you still want to try it, ask your doctor for input.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, getting a massage from a licensed massage therapist can help loosen and stretch stiff muscles surrounding your joints. Tell your massage therapist about your condition so they can modify their approach as needed.
Use a heating pad or take a soothing warm bath to loosen up stiff joints and muscles. Use ice or a cold pack on your joints and muscles to help relieve pain.
Whenever possible, use your entire hand rather than just some of your fingers to push doors and to lift heavier objects.
Use assistive devices to open bottles and jars so you don’t strain your fingers and hands.
Getting a good night’s sleep can help you fight fatigue. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. If you have trouble falling asleep, try taking a soothing warm bath before going to bed.
Also, make some time to rest and relax during your busy day. Need a suggestion? Put your feet up and read or listen to your favorite music for 20 minutes or so.
A naturopathic doctor concentrates on lifestyle factors and natural therapies to help you manage your overall health. These specialists may suggest adding a combination of approaches to your overall treatment plan, such as:
- lifestyle changes
- stress management techniques
- dietary supplements
Many naturopathic providers work in partnership with other types of practitioners to provide you with a whole-body approach to health.
Although psoriatic arthritis is a chronic condition, certain remedies can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate symptoms.
Before you try a natural remedy, check in with your regular doctor. Remember: These therapies are meant to be incorporated into your overall treatment approach. They’re not a replacement for your prescribed treatment plan.