Pain relief for psoriatic arthritis can be a complex topic. Even though there are numerous treatments for the condition, people with psoriatic arthritis may still have periods of flares when it becomes extremely painful to do just about anything.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can cause psoriasis plaques on the skin as well as joint swelling, stiffness, and pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition commonly affects joints in the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, and knees, which can make it difficult and painful for many people—especially during a flare—to do everything from washing their hair to lifting a coffee mug.
Because of this, many people with psoriatic arthritis find ways to care for their joints so that they can keep living life. Of course, medications are a big part of finding pain relief for psoriatic arthritis, but making lifestyle modifications can also help you care for your joints day-to-day. Here are seven practices that people with psoriatic arthritis as well as doctors who treat the disease recommend.
1. Look for items that help make everyday tasks easier.
Even maneuvering your hand to brush your teeth can be really painful when you have psoriatic arthritis, says Samardeep Gupta, M.D., rheumatology professor at the University of Michigan and co-director of the Derm Rheum Collaborative Clinic at VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. If you can, he recommends using an electric toothbrush instead of a more labor-intensive manual toothbrush. And you don’t need to purchase an expensive model to get a good cleaning. For example, the highly-rated Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro + Deep Clean costs $10 on Amazon. Shoe horns are another tool that many people with psoriatic arthritis find helpful, according to Dr. Gupta. The Vive Long Handled Shoe Horn is popular on Amazon because it can be used while standing or sitting ($9, Amazon).
Sarah K., 35, who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2009, says she primarily uses light plastic or stainless steel tumblers instead of glass because they’re easier to lift. (She also uses cups with lids and straws to potentially avoid spilling.) Similarly, if you have a hard time using a coffee mug, adding an ergonomic second handle like the Vivi Duo Cup Holder ($20, ArthritisSupplies.com), can make your cup easier to grip.
2. Buy pre-chopped ingredients and meal kits if possible.
For Gemma H., 35, preparing meals come with numerous challenges. Everything from chopping food to opening cans and lifting pans can be painful, Gemma, who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2012, says. To help make cooking as easy as possible, she buys pre-chopped vegetables and microwaveable bags of rice, vegetables, and ready-to-heat meals. Food delivery kits that come with pre-chopped ingredients are another option for people who enjoy cooking but want to minimize how …….