How to Manage Psoriatic Arthritis Soreness

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 43 percent of adults living with arthritis have activity limitations. If soreness from your psoriatic arthritis is preventing you from living well, read ahead for suggestions to help reduce your soreness and feel your best.

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Recognize the symptoms

Anywhere from five to 40 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis can cause swelling and stiffness around the joints. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can develop slowly or quickly. You may feel a reduced range of motion and be especially stiff in the morning. With psoriatic arthritis, your discomfort may come and go with periods of remission.

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Seek treatment as soon as possible

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, delaying treatment as little as six months can result in permanent joint damage. If you have psoriasis and your joints are feeling especially stiff and sore, contacting your doctor as soon as possible may be critical in relieving your discomfort.

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Make stretching a priority

Stretching is known to decrease overall muscle and tendon stiffness. While the soreness related to psoriatic arthritis usually involves inflammation of the joints, making sure that muscles and tendons around the joints are not excessively tense can make you less sore overall. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching at least two or three days each week. Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds.

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Discover watersports

Exercising in water, known as hydrotherapy, has been used for centuries to cure all types of ailments. When it comes to arthritis, hydrotherapy is known to reduce pain and improve health. There are some tips and tricks to help you fully enjoy your time in the water if you have psoriatic arthritis.

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Stay strong

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, exercise is key to overcoming psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Training with weights, exercise bands, or weight machines can be very beneficial for people with psoriatic arthritis because it keeps muscles lean and strong. This can protect your joints and help prevent soreness after use. If you are new to strength training, a physical therapist or specialized sports trainer can help you develop a strength training program that is right for you.

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Warm up and cool down

According to the Arthritis Foundation, warm water is a powerful weapon against aches, stiffness, and fatigue. Taking a warm bath or shower in the morning can decrease swelling and inflammation and increase circulation. Water temperature between 92 and 100 degrees is a healthy range. Cold therapy can also reduce soreness, especially after working your joints. Ice or a cold compress applied to the joint works by reducing blood flow to a particular area and reducing inflammation.

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Remember diet matters

While there is no diet that can cure psoriatic arthritis, there are foods that can make you feel better or worse. For example, foods that contain omega-3 fats, such as fish, may reduce the inflammation in the whole body. In contrast, highly processed, sugary foods may contribute to inflammation. And, if you are overweight, losing weight could reduce the severity of your psoriatic arthritis and help with joint soreness.

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Get a massage

The pressure applied to the body from a massage has been known to help arthritis pain and range of motion. However, making time for a weekly massage can be tricky. Instead, daily self-massages can decrease soreness and increase range of motion. Self-massage is the application of various massage strokes to the body’s soft tissue. You can use your hands for a gentle massage or you can also use a flexible soft roller to decrease soreness.

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Get plenty of rest

People living with arthritis are more than twice as likely to have sleep problems compared to those without arthritis. Pain and soreness are likely contributors. Not getting enough sleep has far-reaching consequences. Without adequate rest, you are more likely to suffer from depression and have a more difficult time in managing your soreness. If you are struggling with getting enough rest, you might benefit from talking to your doctor about better pain management.

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Talk to your doctor about drug treatments

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. Most drug treatments focus on controlling inflammation. In the last 20 years, arthritis medications have become much more targeted and effective. These drugs have even contributed to disease remission for some. You may be hesitant to look into drug therapy because of side effects. However, virtually all drugs have potential side effects. Your doctor can help you gauge your actual risks and guide you through the possible benefits of drug treatments.