Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that occurs in people suffering from a chronic skin condition called psoriasis. A few natural treatments are available for reducing the inflammation and pain in the joints and lowering the incidence of psoriatic arthritis flare-ups.
Natural Ways to Treat Psoriatic Arthritis
Lifestyle change is an important component of psoriatic arthritis treatment. Maintaining a healthy weight by following a low calorie balanced diet and regular physical activities helps to reduce the pressure on the joints, thereby improving joint mobility and reducing pain.
A diet comprising of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended for psoriatic arthritis patients. Limit consumption of saturated fats, and switch to healthy proteins such as lean meat, poultry, low fat dairy, legumes and beans. Observational studies have shown that alcohol worsens psoriasis and arthritis associated with the skin disorder.
To improve the flexibility of the joints and strengthen the muscles around the joint, people suffering from psoriatic arthritis should exercise regularly. Mild to moderate activities that are not stressful for the joints such as walking, swimming, cycling and water aerobics are ideal for psoriatic arthritis patients.
However, to avoid stress and to protect the joints from injury, people with psoriatic arthritis should avoid exercising continuously for a long time. They should divide the exercise schedule into short segments and relax in between activities. Moreover, they should stop exercising if they are feeling tired. Yoga, Tai Chi and other relaxation exercises are also beneficial for people bothered by psoriatic arthritis.
Cold and Hot Compress
Applying either cold or hot pack to the affected joints or alternating hot compresses with cold packs can alleviate the pain and inflammation of the joints. The cold pack numbs the area, thereby reducing the sensation of pain. The heat on the other hand relaxes the muscles, reducing the pain and improving mobility of the affected joints.
Eat Vitamin D Foods and Supplements
Consuming vitamin D rich foods and supplements and basking in the sun may reduce the incidence of psoriatic arthritis flare-ups. In a study, reported in the Oct 2011 issue of the journal Arthritis Care and Research, researchers at the Centre for Prognosis Studies in the Rheumatic Diseases, in Toronto, Canada, observed that vitamin D deficiency is common in people suffering from psoriatic arthritis. Vitamin D is needed for preserving the health of the joints.
It is essential for the normal mineralization of the bones. Vitamin D also plays an important role in improving immune function, and may help to modulate the function of the immune system, which might benefit people suffering from an autoimmune disease such as psoriatic arthritis. The sunshine vitamin also helps to reduce inflammation by suppressing production of inflammatory chemicals and proteins.
Eat Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids present in large quantities in fish oil and in moderate amounts in flax seed oil can benefit people suffering from all forms of arthritis including psoriatic arthritis.
The omega-3 fats are converted into anti-inflammatory compounds such as resolvins that are almost 10,000 times more powerful than the original fatty acids. These powerful anti-inflammatory compounds are capable of arresting the inflammatory process triggered by an overactive immune system.