Psoriatic Arthritis Self-Care: Manage Symptoms with These Effective Tips

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects joints and skin. It can cause discomfort, pain, and stiffness, which can interfere with daily activities. However, with the right self-care techniques, individuals with Psoriatic Arthritis Self Care can manage their symptoms effectively and improve their quality of life. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and strategies for psoriatic arthritis self-care, including medication management, exercise and physical activity, healthy diet choices, stress management techniques, sleep and rest, assistive devices and adaptations, complementary therapies, and lifestyle modifications. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of psoriatic arthritis self-care together!

Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis

psoriatic arthritis self care

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that commonly affects people with psoriasis. It is a long-term inflammatory condition that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Psoriatic arthritis can also affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes, skin, and nails.

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue by mistake. It is not yet fully understood what causes psoriatic arthritis, but researchers believe that genetic and environmental factors may play a role.

Primary Symptoms

Psoriatic arthritis can cause a wide range of symptoms, which may vary from person to person. Some of the primary symptoms include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the joints, particularly in the fingers, toes, and lower back
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Tenderness and warmth around affected joints
  • Fatigue
  • Nail changes, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed
  • Eye inflammation
  • Red, scaly patches of skin.

Different Forms

There are several different forms of psoriatic arthritis, each of which can cause different symptoms and affect different parts of the body. These forms include:

  • Asymmetric arthritis, which affects different joints on each side of the body
  • Symmetric arthritis, which affects the same joints on both sides of the body
  • Spondylitis, which affects the spine and can cause stiffness and pain in the neck and back
  • Arthritis mutilans, which is a rare and severe form of psoriatic arthritis that can cause deformity and destruction of the joints.

It is important to diagnose and treat psoriatic arthritis as early as possible to help manage symptoms and prevent joint damage. If you experience any of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, speak to your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Medication Management

Medication is a crucial component of managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. If you’ve been prescribed medication, it’s essential to take it as directed by your healthcare provider.

To effectively manage your medication, consider the following tips:

  • Take medication as directed: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for medication dosage and frequency. Do not change the dosage without consulting them first.
  • Set medication reminders: Use an alarm or app to help you remember to take your medication on time.
  • Keep track of side effects: Make note of any side effects you experience and report them to your healthcare provider. They may need to adjust your medication or prescribe an alternative.
  • Communicate with your healthcare provider: Keep your healthcare provider informed of any changes in your symptoms or if you have any concerns about your medication. They can provide guidance and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Remember, medication alone may not be enough to manage your psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Speak with your healthcare provider about incorporating complementary therapies and lifestyle modifications for a comprehensive approach to self-care.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular exercise and physical activity can be beneficial for managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. While it may seem counterintuitive to move when joints are stiff and painful, exercise can actually help improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and strengthen muscles surrounding the affected joints.

Low-impact exercises are typically recommended for individuals with psoriatic arthritis, as they are easier on the joints. Examples of low-impact exercises include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi

Incorporating stretching and range-of-motion exercises can also be helpful in maintaining flexibility and mobility. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity or duration of exercise to avoid overexertion or injury. Additionally, consulting with a healthcare professional or physical therapist can help develop an exercise plan tailored to individual needs.

Healthy Diet Choices

Managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms can be supported by adopting a healthy diet that emphasizes nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight and consuming a balanced diet can significantly improve psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Here are some tips for incorporating healthy eating into your self-care routine:

  • Load up on fruits and vegetables: Aim for at least 5 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help reduce inflammation and support overall health.
  • Choose whole grains: Swap refined grains for whole grains. Whole grains are packed with fiber and nutrients that can improve gut health and help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Incorporate omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility. Aim to consume at least two servings of oily fish per week, or consider taking a high-quality omega-3 supplement.
  • Limit sugar and processed foods: Refined sugars and processed foods can increase inflammation and exacerbate psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Aim to limit these foods and opt for whole, nutrient-dense choices instead.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help keep joints lubricated and reduce inflammation. Aim for at least 8-10 cups of water per day.

It’s important to note that while diet can significantly impact psoriatic arthritis symptoms, it should not replace prescribed medication or other recommended treatments. Be sure to speak with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or treatment plan.

Stress Management Techniques

Stress can aggravate psoriatic arthritis symptoms, so it’s important to incorporate stress management techniques into your self-care routine. Here are some strategies you can try:

  • Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help you manage stress and reduce pain. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down and focus on your breath, allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment.
  • Relaxation Exercises: Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can all help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.
  • Exercise: Physical activity can be an effective stress reliever. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  • Social Support: Talking to friends, family, or a support group can help you manage stress and feel less isolated. Consider joining a support group specifically for individuals with psoriatic arthritis.

“Stress can be a difficult trigger to manage, but incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being.”

Sleep and Rest

Getting enough sleep and rest is crucial for managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Pain and discomfort can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep, which can in turn exacerbate the condition. Here are some tips for improving your sleep quality:

  • Create a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it, even on weekends.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment, including room temperature, bedding, and lighting.
  • Manage pain before bed with medication or other techniques.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, consider talking to your healthcare provider about sleep aids or other treatment options.

Aside from getting enough sleep, it’s also important to take breaks throughout the day and rest when necessary. This can help alleviate joint pain and reduce fatigue. Here are some tips for incorporating rest into your daily routine:

  • Take short breaks throughout the day to stretch and move your joints.
  • Alternate periods of activity with periods of rest.
  • Use assistive devices, such as ergonomic chairs or footrests, to reduce strain on your joints while working.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard; listen to your body and take breaks when you feel fatigued.

By prioritizing sleep and rest, you can help manage your psoriatic arthritis symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Assistive Devices and Adaptations

psoriatic arthritis self care

For individuals with psoriatic arthritis, performing daily tasks can be a challenge due to joint pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. However, there are various assistive devices and adaptations that can make these activities easier and less painful.

Types of Assistive Devices

Assistive devices are tools or equipment designed to help people with disabilities or injuries perform daily tasks. For individuals with psoriatic arthritis, some common assistive devices include:

Assistive Devices Description
Splints and Braces These devices can help support and stabilize joints affected by psoriatic arthritis, reducing pain and preventing damage.
Ergonomic Aids Tools such as ergonomic keyboards, pens, and utensils can help reduce strain on joints during daily activities.
Mobility Aids Devices such as canes, walkers, and scooters can help individuals with psoriatic arthritis move around more easily and safely.

Adaptations for Daily Tasks

In addition to assistive devices, there are also various adaptations that can be made to daily tasks to make them easier and less painful for individuals with psoriatic arthritis. Some examples include:

  • Using larger handles on utensils, tools, and doorknobs
  • Using slip-resistant mats in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent falls
  • Installing lever handles on doors and faucets instead of knobs
  • Using an electric can opener instead of a manual one

These adaptations can be simple and inexpensive, yet make a significant difference in the daily lives of individuals with psoriatic arthritis.

Tip: Consult with an occupational therapist to assess your individual needs and recommend appropriate assistive devices and adaptations.

Complementary Therapies

For individuals seeking alternative or additional treatment options to manage their psoriatic arthritis symptoms, complementary therapies may be worth exploring. These therapies can be used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments to help improve overall wellness and reduce pain and inflammation.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. It has been found to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis. However, it is important to seek out a licensed and experienced practitioner to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help to reduce muscle tension and joint stiffness associated with psoriatic arthritis. It can also help to improve circulation and promote relaxation, which may in turn reduce stress and anxiety. It’s important to communicate any areas of pain or discomfort with your massage therapist to ensure they can tailor the treatment to your individual needs.

Herbal Supplements

Some herbal supplements may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce psoriatic arthritis symptoms. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements to ensure they are safe and will not interact negatively with any medications you are currently taking. Some common supplements used for psoriatic arthritis include turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Yoga is a form of exercise that can help to improve flexibility, balance, and joint mobility. It can also help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many yoga poses can be modified to accommodate individuals with psoriatic arthritis, and there are even specialized yoga programs designed specifically for individuals with arthritis.

While complementary therapies can be a useful addition to a psoriatic arthritis self-care routine, it’s important to remember that they should not replace traditional medical treatments. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or therapy.

Lifestyle Modifications

psoriatic arthritis self care

Along with medication and other self-care strategies, making lifestyle modifications can significantly improve psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Here are some important lifestyle changes to consider:

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight can put additional stress on joints and worsen psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce joint pain and improve overall mobility. Eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can worsen inflammation and contribute to other health problems. Quitting smoking can help reduce psoriatic arthritis symptoms and improve overall health.

Manage Environmental Triggers

Pay attention to environmental factors that may trigger psoriatic arthritis symptoms, such as cold weather or certain types of food. Avoiding or minimizing exposure to these triggers can help manage symptoms.

Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep

Adequate rest and sleep are important for managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleeping environment, and managing pain before bed can help improve sleep quality.

Reduce Stress

Stress can exacerbate psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, can help manage stress and improve symptoms.

Stay Active

Regular physical activity can help improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and strengthen muscles. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can be particularly beneficial for individuals with psoriatic arthritis.

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid environmental triggers
  • Get enough rest and sleep
  • Reduce stress through relaxation techniques
  • Stay active with low-impact exercises

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Psoriatic arthritis self-care can be a complex topic, and many individuals have questions about how to manage their symptoms effectively. Here are some common questions and answers to help you better understand psoriatic arthritis self-care.

Can self-care alone manage psoriatic arthritis?

While self-care is an important component of managing psoriatic arthritis, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. However, self-care can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life when used in conjunction with medication and healthcare provider guidance.

Are there any specific activities to avoid with psoriatic arthritis?

Some activities may exacerbate psoriatic arthritis symptoms, such as high-impact exercises or activities that require repetitive joint movements. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine which activities are safe for you and to modify your exercise routine as needed.

Can diet affect psoriatic arthritis symptoms?

Yes, diet can play a role in managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids, into your diet may help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine the best diet plan for you.

Can stress worsen psoriatic arthritis symptoms?

Yes, stress can exacerbate psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and seeking social support, can help reduce stress levels and improve symptoms.

Are there alternative therapies that can help manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms?

Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and herbal supplements, may be helpful in managing psoriatic arthritis symptoms. However, it is important to discuss any complementary therapies with your healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and effective for you.

Remember, self-care is an ongoing process that may require trial and error to find what works best for you. Working with a healthcare provider is crucial in developing an effective self-care plan that incorporates medication, lifestyle modifications, and other strategies to manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

Jillian Hunt is a strong and inspiring individual who has been living with arthritis for over a decade. Despite the challenges she faces, she’s determined to find ways to manage her condition and improve her quality of life. She’s also an advocate for others who face similar challenges, sharing her insights on various forums.

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Arthritis Treatment Lab is a blog dedicated to providing information and resources on various treatment options for arthritis. From traditional approaches such as medication and physical therapy, to alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal remedies, we strive to educate and empower individuals who are living with this condition. Our articles cover the latest research findings, practical tips for managing symptoms, and personal stories from people who have successfully overcome arthritis. Whether you are newly diagnosed or a long-time sufferer, Arthritis Treatment Lab is here to support you on your journey towards better health.