9 Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory and chronic type of arthritis. Experts strongly encourage people with psoriatic arthritis to seek treatment for their condition because it can worsen over time if left untreated. Traditional therapies for psoriatic arthritis can slow the progression of this chronic disease and reduce the joint pain and inflammation. But you may still struggle with some pain and inflammation and wish for additional strategies to address those problems. In that case, you may also be interested in some natural remedies or alternative therapies for psoriatic arthritis to help manage your symptoms and give you a better sense of control over your condition. Before you try any alternative medicine for psoriatic arthritis, however, be sure to notify your physician. Some therapies could interfere with medication you may already be taking or raise other safety concerns.
Get some exercise.
Perhaps the best natural treatment for psoriatic arthritis is exercise. Stretching and moving around helps keep your joints flexible and maintains your range of motion. Try some low-impact exercise like swimming, walking or yoga. Adding in some strength training activities can build up muscle to better support your joints, too. Word to the wise: start slow and build gradually so you don’t hurt yourself.
Make time for a massage.
If your muscles and joints are tight and stiff, a gentle massage may be a great solution. Be sure to tell the massage therapist about your psoriatic arthritis so they can take special care not to aggravate your condition.
You may find some relief through acupuncture, an ancient practice that involves the insertion of numerous tiny needles in various parts of your body. While there’s not any solid research to support acupuncture as a treatment specifically for psoriatic arthritis pain, there is research to support the use of acupuncture for the relief of pain.
Manage stress with meditation.
Stress can exacerbate inflammation. It can also cause your muscles and joints to tighten up, worsening any pain you already have. Some people findspending a few minutes in meditation helps them slow their breathing and relax their bodies. Some people just choose to sit quietly and practice some deep breathing exercises, while others may appreciate some guided imagery techniques to help them focus and relax.
You may not want to apply a scented oil or lotion directly to your skin, but smelling a pleasant scent in the air via a diffuser might help you to relax—which may bring some relief to your joints and muscles.
Harness the heat of a hot pepper.
You don’t actually eat the hot peppers, but you can try using a skin cream containing capsaicin, the component in chili peppers that gives them their heat. Research suggests that capascin can block pain receptors. Consult your doctor before trying one of these over-the-counter creams, however, as it could irritate your skin.
Turmeric isn’t just a bottle of spice in your spice cabinet. This herb is known for its ability to reduce inflammation. Research suggests it can even alter gene expression that can affect and reduce your psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Consider making flavorful curry dishes with turmeric or purchasing turmeric capsules to take on a daily basis. However, be forewarned that there’s not a consensus in the scientific community about the benefits of consuming turmeric.
Apply apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar may also help the itching associated with psoriatic arthritis. Fortunately, you don’t have to drink the apple cider vinegar to experience its benefits. Instead, just apply it directly to the parts of your skin affected by your psoriatic arthritis. If it irritates your skin, try diluting it with water first, and don’t use it on cracked or bleeding skin.
Be cautious when exploring other possible remedies.
When considering other possibilities, use caution. A bath in oats may or may not relieve some pain and irritation but it shouldn’t cause any problems. But another often-suggested remedy, tea tree oil, may ease some inflammation but it may also aggravate sensitive skin in some people. Run any ideas past your healthcare team, just in case.