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Psoriatic arthritis: Tips for managing

If you have psoriatic arthritis, you may have trouble using your hands. You may have joint pain and swelling. These tips may help.

Talk with your doctor about exercise

No single exercise helps everyone. Your doctor may recommend some exercises. Other exercises may be discouraged. Your doctor can help you decide which exercises will benefit you. 

If you have not exercised for a while or are uncertain what to do, tell your doctor. A few sessions of physical therapy may be helpful. Your doctor can write a prescription for physical therapy. 

During physical therapy, your therapist will evaluate your movement to determine how the arthritis affects you and provide specific therapies and exercises that can help.

Make arthritis-friendly exercise part of your life 

No exercise is right for everyone, but some types of exercise help many people who have arthritis. Topping this list are yoga, tai chi, and joint-friendly water exercises. Studies show that these can help ease pain in your joints. Walking, cycling, and training with lightweight dumbbells also may be options. Even if you have difficulty moving, exercise can help. Arthritis friendly exercise can:

  • Make your joints more flexible

  • Improve muscle tone

  • Reduce stress

  • Boost your mood

Many organizations offer arthritis-friendly exercise classes. To find out whether such classes are available in your area, contact your local hospital, YMCA, fitness center, community center, or park district.

Rest when needed

When psoriatic arthritis flares, you need to rest your joints. Using the joints during a flare puts more stress on the joints. This can lead to lasting damage. Medicine and joint protection (braces, splints, and supports) may help ease joint stress.

Learn what aggravates your arthritis

People living with arthritis say that some activities, foods, and habits cause their arthritis to flare. Each time your psoriatic arthritis flares, make a note of what you were doing or eating. This may help you learn what triggers your psoriatic arthritis. 

Find out your healthy weight. If you’re not at that weight, try to reach it.

Maintaining a healthy weight helps to reduce joint pain and allows you to move with greater ease. You can quickly find out whether you have a healthy body weight by entering your height and weight on the following page: 

If you exceed your healthy weight, which may be called your normal weight, be sure to visit the links on the above page. This information comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

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