Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects up to 30% of people who have psoriasis. There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis and it can cause symptoms like swelling, pain, and stiffness in your joints. The hallmark of psoriatic arthritis is pain that affects joints, but for some people, life with psoriatic arthritis includes ongoing fatigue and more widespread pain, similar to fibromyalgia. The best way to take care of your psoriatic arthritis is to get the best of both worlds: medical care from your doctor and healthy lifestyle habits. Fortunately, there are some little things you can do to make living with the condition more bearable. Here are 5 strategies that can help you manage your symptoms.
1. Exercise: Fitness is good for everyone and having an exercise regimen is very important for people with psoriatic arthritis. In fact, experts recommend doing low-impact activities that won’t damage your joints. Swimming and walking are good choices. You can also combine the two by walking laps in the pool. Talk to your doctor about which exercises would be best for you.
2. Wear the right shoes: Inflammation of the feet and ankles can make shoes painful. Try a shoe with a high toe box giving ample room for swollen toes. Shoe inserts, heel cups, and heel pads may relieve pain in other areas of the foot.
3. Eat Healthy Foods: People with psoriatic arthritis are more likely to be overweight than other people. Extra weight stresses your joints, and increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic disorder. So eating healthy foods and adopting smart eating habits may help you shed extra weight which will take some of the pressure off your joints.
4. Sleep Well: Fatigue is a frequent complaint of people with psoriatic arthritis. In one study, about 50% of patients reported trouble sleeping. So it is recommended to try to get a good night’s sleep. And that is can be achieved by follow good “sleep hygiene” guidelines such as avoiding caffeine and nicotine, exercising, and going to bed and waking up at a regular time each day.
5. Take Care of Your Eyes: Uveitis, a painful inflammation of the eye, is more common in people with psoriatic arthritis. So check in on your eye health by making regular visits to a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent vision loss and tissue damage.