Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects joints, fascia, ligament, tendons etc. Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by the presence of red patches on the skin. These red patches causes itching and gets covered with dry silvery scales.
Psoriasis may affect any part of the skin and within a few years of the onset of the disease, it affects the joints and cause inflammation. Inflammation may also develop in heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys etc. The smaller joints such as joints of fingers and toes are commonly affected and the patient develops pain in the joints.
Once the joints are affected, the affected joints swell up and the skin above the joint gets reddened leading to the development of patches. If psoriatic arthritis is left untreated for a long, the cartilage and tendons in the joint may become lose and will impair the functioning of the joints.
Psoriatic arthritis can be treated with anti-inflamatory drugs, immuno suppressant, TNF-alpha drugs etc. but most of these medication cause side effects. Psoriatic arthritis can also be addressed with a managed lifestyle as well as through home remedies.
- Hot and Cold packs: Alternate hot and cold packs helps to reduce the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Hot packs help the tensed muscles to relax and relieve the pain in the joints. A cold pack can create a numbing effect that reduces the pain. Before applying the cold pack apply some mineral oil over the joints and apply the ice pack wrapped in a towel over the affected area.
- Herbs: Bogbean, chapparal, celery seeds, black cohosh, nettle, saffron, yucca etc. are some of the herbs which are widely used for treating psoriatic arthritis. Black cohosh can reduce the neurological and rheumatic pain and can strengthen the nervous system, while celery seeds act as anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic and diuretic. Chapparal is very beneficial for treating the skin conditions while nettle can address both skin condition and arthritis equally. Similarly, yucca and saffron are also useful in treating psoriatic arthritis.
- Maintain Your Weight: Increased weight creates more stress on the joints and this reduces the mobility of a psoriatic arthritis patient. Hence reduce the weight by sticking to a healthy eating plan which should include more nutrient rich vegetables, fruits and whole grain foods. Healthy weight improves the mobility of the person and thereby reduces the pain on the joints.
- Exercise: Exercise plays a crucial role in reducing the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Exercise daily at a moderate pace but pay attention to the early warning signs of fatigue. Practice gentle exercises like swimming, walking or yoga daily. Sometimes you may feel exhausted because of exercise, then take adequate rest and divide the work and exercise in to short segments to avoid fatigue.
- Diet: Include more papaya, corn, oranges, watermelon, red bell peppers in the diet as they contain beta-cryptoxanthin which gets converted in to retinol, within the body. Zinc rich foods like sesame, pumpkin seeds, shrimp, yogurt and cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of psoriatic arthritis and improve the immunity. Similarly, omega 3 fatty acids, boron, selenium, vitamin K, magnesium etc are also beneficial for treating arthritis. Glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin supplements can make the cartilage rigid and strong.
- However, before you start any of the natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis, consult your doctor to ensure that it won’t interfere with the medications you are taking for any other diseases.
Photo Credit: Orlandonewscenter.com