Living with psoriatic arthritis is a constant challenge. But there are certain things and lifestyle changes you can make to manage the pain associated with the disease.
Most of us know that psoriasis is a skin disorder that is characterized by red, scaly patches on a person’s skin. But what many people aren’t aware of is that in around 30 percent of cases, people who have psoriasis go on to develop a condition known as psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis is an inflammatory condition that typically affects the joints and causes inflammation and pain. Psoriatic arthritis can develop in any part of your body, including the fingertips and spine. Other symptoms of this disease include pain in the lower back, foot pain, inflammation in the fingers and toes, and fatigue. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can spread across your body and even result in permanent joint and tissue damage.
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic condition, and its symptoms can range from mild to quite severe. Although it is mostly diagnosed in men and women between the ages of 30-50 years, it can also occur in children and elderly people. At present, there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, so the treatment is aimed at providing relief from the symptoms and preventing damage to the joints of your body. In addition, there are certain lifestyle changes that you can make in order to ease symptoms such as pain and fatigue. Here are some tips for patients of psoriatic arthritis, which can help living with a condition significantly comfortable and give you a better quality of life.
Experiment with different forms of exercise
It is common knowledge that a physically active lifestyle is good for every person. But for those suffering from psoriatic arthritis, it is particularly important. The right kind of exercise, done according to levels that suit you specifically, can go a long way in providing relief from the pain, inflammation, and tiredness associated with the disease. Moreover, going outdoors regularly and even just stretching your muscles can considerably improve your mood and mental health. There is no specific exercise that suits every person with psoriatic arthritis. The best way to find out what works for you is to try out different activities, done in consultation with your doctor or physical therapist. Some of the physical activities you can try include walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, tai-chi, and yoga. However, ensure that you talk to a professional before trying anything new, as there may be certain activities that you need to avoid.
Invest in good, comfortable shoes
One symptom of psoriatic arthritis that many people experience is foot pain. This, combined with your joint inflammation, can make even mundane daily activities difficult for you. Choosing the perfect pair of shoes can help reduce your foot pain and discomfort to a considerable extent. Also, ensure that you wear the right kind of shoes while exercising to prevent injuries and further damage to your bones and tissues. If you have swollen toes, opt for open-toed shoes or sandals. Avoid heels at all costs. Choose shoes made of breathable, natural material to reduce chances of fungal infections.
Work on your posture
Maintaining the correct posture is crucial to your spine health, although quite often we tend to ignore this fact. However, if you have psoriatic arthritis, resist the urge to constantly slouch or stand with your weight against a wall. Make a habit of sitting and standing straight, as a good posture protects your joints all the way from your neck to your knees. This can also ease your back pain, one of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Brisk walking and swimming can help you achieve a good posture.
Stick to your treatment routine
It is true that currently there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. However, it does not mean that you do not require treatment. If left untreated, this disease can cause serious health problems. Stick to the treatment plan advised by your doctor, and ensure that you keep up with all the consultations. Also, make a note of all the symptoms that you experience, any changes in your health, and which medications seem to work for you or make your symptoms worse. If you have any doubts or are confused about anything regarding your condition, do not postpone talking to the doctor until your next scheduled visit. Proper and timely treatment is vital to managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms, so do not get complacent about it, even if you may be feeling much better than earlier.
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