Psoriatic arthritis is an illness that affects some people suffering from psoriasis. According to recent studies, about 25 percent of people who have psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. Its main symptoms are joint pain, stiffness and swelling. There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis as of yet, but there are sure-fire ways that can improve the general condition of patients and make their lives easier.
Psoriatic Arthritis Causes
In cases of psoriatic arthritis, the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy body tissues. This immune response leads to joint inflammation and over production of skin cells. The exact psoriatic arthritis causes are still unknown.
Researchers believe that the disease can be triggered by certain viruses, extreme stress or physical trauma. Environmental factors, such as bacterial infection, may also play a role here. Other possible causes may be genetic disposition towards this disease. About 40 percent of people who receive a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis have one family member with similar skin or joint problems.
Physical Activity and Psoriatic Arthritis
The fact that psoriatic arthritis causes are not quite clear makes doctors put more emphasis on dealing with the consequences of the disease. Mobility is very important to improve the overall health of the patients suffering psoriatic arthritis. Physical activity is crucial to relieving the pain, protect the joints and prevent muscle weakness. Regular exercises help control the body weight, which helps reduce stress on joints. What is more important is that it helps deal with the stress which often accompanies the patients suffering from psoriasis. There are certain exercises that do not involve extra effort while improving overall health and wellness and lead to easier and healthier life.
- Walking: This simple exercise helps fight stiffness in joints and makes muscles stronger. A walking aid or shoe inserts will make feet more comfortable and help avoid extra pain in ankles or knees affected by arthritis.
- Swimming: Some people with psoriatic arthritis often find it easier to move in water. Swimming in the pool offers activity without much stress for the joints. An opportunity to swim in a sea or an ocean gives an extra advantage, since the natural salt found in these waters helps ease the skin problems caused by psoriasis.
- Stretching: Regular stretching boosts flexibility and lessens pain. The stretch should not be instance, but gentle. Health specialists mostly recommend the use of either moist heat or warm baths both before and after doing so.
- Isometrics: This basically is a cycle of tensing and then releasing the muscle. If regular strength training becomes painful on the joints, isometric exercises may still help patients maintain their physical activity.
- Relaxation: Evidences have also shown that therapeutic exercises like yoga and tai chi can be beneficial in reducing stress. Breathing exercises, like BodyFlex, are another option, especially if there is pain involved.
General Recommendations On How To Approach Exercises:
Any new exercise should be started slowly, there is no need to rush and try to do too much at once.
It may be useful to consult with a doctor or a physical therapist to get more ideas on appropriate physical exercises and find out if there are any limitations in each individual case.
Exercises may need to be modified if a joint is in pain. It may be reasonable to substitute one exercise for another. For example, go swimming rather than take a walk if knees or ankles are painful.
Exercise can lead to some discomfort. For example, strengthening exercises may sometimes lead to muscle ache and similarly stretching exercises may lead to pain in the joint, but none of these should give rise to acute pain. If an exercise leads to swelling or sharp pain, it should be stopped.
High-impact exercises, such as running, playing tennis, lifting heavy weights, can become too much stress for the joints. Before starting a more intense workout, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor.
Exercise should be balanced with rest. Muscles need time to recover; on the other hand, inactivity weakens muscles and can make joint pain worse. So the proper balancing between exercise and rest is very important.
A personal trainer can tailor individual workout plan. There are often ways to adjust any exercise to particular needs of a patient.
While psoriatic arthritis causes remain unknown and the disease remains incurable, some everyday self-care strategies for people with psoriatic arthritis can help make their lives easier and their general well-being much better. Fitness is good for everyone.
Psoriatic arthritis can be different from person to person. So undertaking different physical activities such as hiking, swimming, yoga, or something else entirely different can be rewarding. The important thing is to keep moving and maintain a positive attitude.