Psoriatic arthritis is a serious autoimmune condition that can cause problems with your joints. This is a debilitating and annoying disease that can decrease the quality of your life significantly. Psoriatic arthritis may affect any part of your body, including your hands. It doesn’t cause permanent pain so you can go months without having problems, while the next month it will bother you most days.
Below are 9 effective tips to prevent or relieve hand psoriatic arthritis flares.
1. Try hand exercises
People rarely focus on strengthening and stretching their fingers, wrists, and hands. We often focus on the legs, back, buttocks, and shoulders. But this is very important to strengthen and stretch your wrists because computers and phone use can make them extremely tight even for a healthy person. By completing hand and wrist exercises, you can relieve wrist pain and swelling associated with psoriatic arthritis.
If you can, try physical therapy for your hands. This is a great option to improve the strength and flexibility of your hands. Other therapies that can be beneficial for your hands are fluidotherapy, ultrasound, and massage.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
If you want to relieve and prevent pain associated with psoriatic arthritis, try eating anti-inflammatory foods and avoid products causing inflammation. Certain ingredients like sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, and preservatives can trigger inflammation and make your symptoms worse. Include in your diet foods that can inhibit inflammation in your body. Foods that work best to lower inflammation levels include ginger, turmeric, olive oil, and fatty fish.
3. Topical creams may help
You may ask your doctor about topical ointments that have pain-relieving properties. They can help diminish your pain and help dissipate inflammation. One of the ingredients that work best to relieve pain is capsaicin. It decreases the pain signals to your brain. You can apply pain-relieving creams, gels, and ointments to the affected area to improve your symptoms.
4. Seek alternative therapies
Many alternative therapies can help you relieve the symptoms of hand psoriatic arthritis. Many people with this condition can benefit from acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care. These therapies are aimed at the treatment of the entire body and boost the body’s natural healing processes. Alternative therapies can help you relieve symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and improve overall wellbeing.
5. Keep your body moving
During psoriatic arthritis flares, moving can be the last thing you want to do. But it is very important to stay active during this period. It isn’t necessary to visit the gym and do heavy workouts. You can complete simple exercises like yoga or just take a walk in the nearby park. Such activities can keep your blood pumping and lymphatic system moving. This can help you prevent stiffness and improve your range of motions.
6. Try food supplements
Taking oral supplements is a great way to relieve psoriatic arthritis inflammation and pain. Some supplements that can be helpful include Vitamin C, curcumin, fish oil, ginger, and spirulina. They are great to prevent inflammatory processes in the body and improve your overall wellbeing. Before taking any food supplements, it is important to consult your doctor. Some supplements may interact with your current medications.
7. Heat compress
Psoriatic arthritis can make your hands ache at any time of the day, but in the morning the pain often reaches the highest point. In the morning your hands may hurt so much, that it becomes impossible to make even the simplest tasks. In this case, a heating pad may be very helpful. Apply a warm compress on your hand for 15 minutes to reduce pain, stiffness, and improve the range of motions.
8. Ice compress
At the end of the day, your hands may become swollen and painful. To relieve discomfort, you can use a cold compress. It can help you relieve inflammation and pain. Depending on the symptoms you have, you can alternate cold compress with heat. This helps increase the blood flow to the affected area and boost healing processes. You can try several methods of using cold and warm compresses, to find one that works best for you.
9. Reduce your stress levels
Relaxing your muscles is crucial to relieve psoriatic arthritis pain. Stress causes muscle tension and stiffness, which can tighten the joints and make the pain worse. Moreover, chronic stress can increase overall body inflammation making psoriatic arthritis worse. You can try different relaxing techniques like deep breathing and guided imagery. These practices can be effective to quiet your muscles and relieve pain.
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