Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in people with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin. While psoriasis primarily affects the skin, psoriatic arthritis can also cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Living with psoriatic arthritis can be challenging, but there are several things you can do to manage your condition and improve your quality of life. Here are some tips to help you cope with psoriatic arthritis:
Work with your healthcare team
It's important to have a team of healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about psoriatic arthritis and can help you manage your condition. This may include a rheumatologist, dermatologist, and primary care doctor.
Take your medications as prescribed
Medications can be an important part of treatment for psoriatic arthritis. Be sure to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor to help control inflammation and reduce joint pain and swelling.
Exercise can help improve flexibility, reduce stiffness, and increase strength, which can all help improve your quality of life with psoriatic arthritis. It's important to find activities that are enjoyable and that you can do consistently. Water-based exercises, such as swimming and water aerobics, can be particularly helpful for people with psoriatic arthritis because the buoyancy of the water helps to reduce stress on the joints.
Eat a healthy diet
Having a healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. This may include foods that are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish. It's also important to avoid foods that may trigger inflammation, such as processed foods and those high in saturated and trans fats.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for overall health and can help reduce pain and fatigue associated with psoriatic arthritis. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and create a bedtime routine to help you relax and get a good night's rest.
Try stress-reducing techniques
Chronic stress can increase inflammation and worsen symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Try incorporating stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, into your daily routine to help manage stress and improve overall well-being.
It can be helpful to connect with others who are living with psoriatic arthritis. Support groups and online communities can provide a sense of community and offer helpful tips and resources for managing the condition.
Living with psoriatic arthritis can be challenging, but with the right tools and resources, you can manage your condition and improve your quality of life. Be sure to work with your healthcare team, take your medications as prescribed, and try the tips listed above to help manage your symptoms and feel your best.