Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. It typically causes affected joints to become swollen, stiff and painful.
Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is a long-term condition that can get progressively worse. If it’s severe, there’s a risk of the joints becoming permanently damaged or deformed, and surgery may be needed. However, if psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed and treated early, its progression can be slowed down and permanent joint damage can be prevented or minimized.
Current medical treatment options can help slow the progression of PsA, prevent flares, and relieve symptoms, but natural and alternative remedies can also help a person relieve their symptoms.
Anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients for psoriatic arthritis
Turmeric is a yellow spice used in a variety of cuisines, especially Indian food. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
You can eat foods with turmeric, such as Indian curries, or make turmeric tea. You can also take turmeric in pill form.
Look for supplements containing curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to block cytokines and enzymes that cause inflammation.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili pepper, eases arthritis pain in some people. It’s typically found in over-the-counter creams such as Zostrix and Capzasin-P, which often need to be applied three or four times a day. Cayenne pepper, used topically, has helped people with osteoarthritis
3. Epsom salts
Soaking affected joints in an Epsom salt bath may help reduce joint pain and inflammation. Magnesium, found in Epsom salts, has been shown to help boost bone density and relieve psoriasis-related skin itch.
4. Aloe Vera
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, this plant gel is often used for relief from sunburn pain and can soothe psoriatic arthritis skin symptoms as well.
Apply aloe gel or cream to skin after showering and washing your hands. For the best results, be sure any topical solution you choose contains at least 0.5 percent aloe, the National Psoriasis Foundation says.
Though aloe is also available in pill form, note that supplements may interact with certain diabetes drugs and other medication, so it’s better to avoid them.
Ginger is a root and a spice that appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. The Arthritis Foundation suggest that ginger may help people with rheumatoid arthritis, which is another inflammatory type of arthritis.
6. Fish oil
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which the body converts into anti-inflammatory chemicals. You can find it in cold-water fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, and cod.
A Mediterranean diet, including fish oil, has been shown to reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients who have swollen and tender joints
Probiotics are friendly bacteria found in foods such as yogurt as well as in supplement form. The jury is still out on whether probiotics reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.
8. Vitamin D
There is a correlation between psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and low vitamin D levels. Good food sources of vitamin D include salmon and fortified foods such as milk.
Self-improvement activities to help you stop psoriatic arthritis inflammation
1. Stop smoking
There’s an established link between smoking cigarettes and the development of psoriatic arthritis. Smoking can also trigger symptom flares. It’s never too late to quit. If you’re having trouble quitting, talk with your doctor, who can recommend smoking cessation aids that can help.
2. Get enough sleep
Sleep can help manage inflammation, reduce stress, and boost overall health and well-being.
The National Psoriasis Foundation explain that people with psoriatic conditions tend to have more problems with sleep than those without them.
One reason for this is that itching and pain can make it hard to sleep.
3. Mindfulness exercises
Mindfulness involves being aware of the body, how it is feeling, and any changes that may signal an approaching flare. It also involves being aware of any situations that may cause unnecessary stress. Meditation can help manage pain and stress.
4. Eat right and try to control your weight
If you have Psoriatic Arthritis and you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have pain, tender and swollen joints, and other symptoms than people who aren’t carrying extra pounds, a recent study showed. You’re also prone to other illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. And it could make it hard for your doctor to figure out the right dose of medication to prescribe for your condition.
Drop the weight and you’ll ease the symptoms that come with this painful condition, the National Psoriasis Foundation says.
It improves your heath and keeps your joints flexible. If you don’t move enough, you could get stiff joints and muscle weakness, the American College of Rheumatology says.
Two good choices are riding an exercise bike or walking. Use shoe inserts to avoid too much pressure on your feet, ankles, or knees.
You might also try water exercises, like swimming or walking laps in the pool. You’ll get a good workout but won’t stress your joints.
6. Try regular massages, acupuncture and acupressure
Massage is used to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. For best results, find a massage therapist who is trained to provide services for people with chronic conditions like psoriatic arthritis.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which practitioners place hair-thin needles into various pressure points around the body. Inserting these needles promotes the release of natural pain relievers like serotonin and endorphins. If you want to try this technique, see a licensed acupuncturist who has experience treating psoriatic arthritis.
Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure to specific areas on the body. It’s similar to acupuncture without the use of needles, or to massage.
7. End your day with a warm bath
A warm soak can help soothe achy joints. Just keep it short and watch the water temperature. Long, hot baths can dry out your skin. Keep the water between 33°C and 37°C and don’t soak for more than 20 minutes at a time.