Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis where the joints and cartilage degenerate over time, and a rash that resembles psoriasis forms on the skin over the joint. Conventional treatments include medications and phytotherapy. Herbal remedies and lifestyle changes can be used in conjunction with traditional medical protocols to provide greater relief from the symptoms.
To ease the symptoms of arthritis, you should maintain a healthy weight. Regular, gentle exercise is important to maintain mobility, which arthritis tends to affect. Yoga, tai chi and swimming are all ideal sports for sufferers of psoriatic arthritis. When pain flares, try applying hot and cold packs, alternated and applied for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Don’t overdo any activity, because overexertion can worsen the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure are based on the idea that our bodies are surrounded by an energy field, called the qi. Both acupuncture and acupressure seek to influence the energy flowing through us to improve balance and remove obstacles that might block the energy flow. Acupuncture and acupressure can both be helpful for psoriatic arthritis because they can reduce pain, enhance the immune system and ease insomnia. People with psoriatic arthritis often have a suppressed immune system and can have difficulty sleeping, along with pain from the joint inflammation.
Several supplements can ease the side effects of psoriatic arthritis. Chondroitin, glucosamine and MSM are all necessary to repair and rebuild cartilage and bones. Omega-3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and swelling. Omega-3s are found in fish and fish oil capsules. Boron, selenium and Vitamin K-1 are also helpful for cartilage and bone health.
Topically applied herbs, used in a poultice, ointment or cream, can provide relief from the itching and burning rash associated with psoriatic arthritis. Nettles and chaparral are most often used for this purpose and can be combined or applied separately.
When taken internally, nettles can also reduce inflammation. Nettles contain calcium iron, sulfur, sodium and potassium, making nettles ideal for several conditions and overall good health. Other beneficial herbs for psoriatic arthritis include black cohosh, bromelain, feverfew and celery seed. Black cohosh is an anti-spasmodic that relaxes muscles and joints, while also blocking pain receptors. Both bromelain and feverfew are anti-inflammatory herbs that help reduce swelling and curb pain. Celery seed is an anti-rheumatic herb that brings counters inflammation and muscle spasms.