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Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

When treating psoriatic arthritis, the goals are to relieve pain, decrease inflammation, and improve a person's sense of well-being and ability to function, among other things. Treatment options can include lifestyle changes, medications, and routine monitoring and ongoing care. Some specific activities that can help improve a person's ability to function independently and maintain a positive outlook include exercise, joint care, and stress reduction.

An Overview of Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Options

Healthcare providers use a variety of approaches to treat psoriatic arthritis. These approaches are used in different combinations and at different times during the course of the disease, and are chosen according to the patient's individual situation. No matter what treatment the healthcare provider and patient choose, however, the goals are the same.
Treatment goals for psoriatic arthritis include:
  • Relieving pain and stiffness
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Slowing down or stopping joint damage
  • Improving a person's sense of well-being and ability to function.
Some current treatment options include:
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Routine monitoring and ongoing care.

Lifestyle Changes

As part of treatment, certain activities can help improve a person's ability to function independently and maintain a positive outlook. These activities can include:
  • Exercise
  • Joint care
  • Stress reduction
  • Helpful diet
  • Climate.
Exercise is important for maintaining healthy and strong muscles, preserving joint mobility, and maintaining flexibility. Exercise can also help people sleep well, reduce pain, maintain a positive attitude, and lose weight.
Two types of exercises that can be helpful for people with psoriatic arthritis include strengthening and range-of-motion exercises.
Strengthening exercises build up the muscles around the joint to better support it. Muscle-tightening exercises that do not move any joints can be done even when a person has inflammation and pain.
Range-of-motion exercises improve movement and flexibility, as well as reduce stiffness in the affected joint. For patients with spine pain or inflammation, exercises to stretch and extend the back can be particularly helpful in preventing long-term disability. Aquatic exercise also may be helpful.
Exercise programs should be planned and executed based on the patient's physical abilities, limitations, and changing needs. Before beginning an exercise program, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can recommend appropriate exercises.
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