Best Natural Remedies for Psoriatic Arthritis
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, a chronic form of inflammatory arthritis, but some natural remedies and lifestyle changes may help relieve the symptoms.
Psoriatic arthritis can develop in people with psoriasis, a skin condition that causes patches of scaly skin that can be red, purple, or gray, depending on your skin tone.
Psoriatic arthritis often affects the joints, leading to symptoms such as:
lower back pain
swollen fingers or toes
There’s no cure, so treating psoriatic arthritis is a priority. A doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce inflammation and pain.
There are also natural remedies and lifestyle changes, such as some of the following, that may help relieve symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help with inflammation. One source is fish.
One 2017 study found that 133 people living with psoriatic arthritis who took fish oil supplements experienced improvements in disease activity. They also didn’t have to rely as much on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. It’s important to note that the study originally involved 145 people, but only 133 completed the study.
Healthy fish oils are found in:
Fish oils are also available as a dietary supplement. High levels can interfere with some medications, so talk with a doctor before taking fish oil supplements.
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Turmeric, an herb in the ginger family, may help ease psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flare-ups. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the anti-inflammatory properties turmeric provides are a frequent topic of study.
You can add a touch of turmeric to almost any dish. It’s also available as a dietary supplement. A doctor or naturopathic practitioner can advise you on the correct dosage.
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them spicy.
Some research has suggested that capsaicin can be added to creams or ointments to help numb pain receptors and provide relief.
It’s also thought to help lower inflammation levels in the body and improve psoriasis symptoms like skin discoloration and scaling.
However, research is needed to evaluate how beneficial this ingredient is in specifically relieving psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salt for about 15 minutes may help reduce inflammation and remove scales on the skin of people with psoriasis.
Magnesium, the mineral in Epsom salt, has anti-inflammatory benefits and can help relieve itchy skin.
A 2018 review that researchers in Italy conducted found evidence suggesting that mineral baths (balneotherapy) improved joint as well as skin conditions in people with psoriatic arthritis.
Diet and weight management
Diet and weight management
Some of the foods you eat may trigger an inflammatory response.
Findings from a 2020 study suggest that a plant-based vegan diet may help regulate the inflammatory process. Per the research, a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and whole wheat may help reduce inflammation.
Findings from this study also support the notion that a plant-based diet can help you maintain a moderate weight and reduce inflammation in the body. Exceeding a moderate weight can add stress to your joints and interfere with mobility.
However, further research is needed to better understand the anti-inflammatory benefits a vegan diet can offer.
It’s hard to consider exercise when experiencing joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. But exercise can help strengthen muscles and increase flexibility.
Staying active can also help you maintain a moderate weight, which puts less stress on your joints and muscles.
Walking is a great psoriatic arthritis-friendly activity. If your joints are bothering you, try exercising in a pool. The water can help you build strength without taxing your joints and muscles.
If you don’t have time for a daily workout, consider taking several 10-minute breaks to stretch and perform range-of-motion exercises. A doctor, physical therapist, or trainer can recommend specific exercises for your condition.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into the body in certain areas to help find relief from certain ailments. It’s known for helping relieve pain.
However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, there’s no evidence to support its use in psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, specifically. If you still want to try it, you can talk with a doctor to get more information.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, getting a massage from a licensed massage therapist can help loosen and stretch stiff muscles surrounding your joints.
Be sure to tell a massage therapist about your condition so they can modify their approach as needed.