Psoriatic arthritis is a psoriatic condition that is linked to psoriasis and it involves pain, inflammation and swelling in the affected joints. There are some natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis which you can try. Let us talk about some of these natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis.
22 Natural Treatments For Psoriatic Arthritis
Curcumin found in turmeric might be a great natural remedy for psoriatic arthritis. This ingredient present in turmeric is known to have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. There are studies which have shown that curcumin might be able to ease symptoms of psoriatic arthritis or PsA, by changing how some gene function. (1) Individuals suffering from the condition can add turmeric to their food or can take turmeric capsules. Authors of a review that was published in the year 2018 concluded that curcumin can be useful to treat Psoriatic arthritis naturally. (2)
2. Epsom Salt
Epsom salts might also be one of the best natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis. Take a warm bath with Epsom salt to reduce inflammation, and joint pain. Magnesium present in Epsom salt is beneficial for your bone health and it might even soothe itchy skin. Warm water is also beneficial at reducing pain. Make sure the temperature of the water should be 33 degrees to 37.8 degrees C or 92-100 degrees F.
NOTE: Epsom salt can stimulate the release of insulin and it might therefore be unsuitable for patients of diabetes.
A compound present in chili peppers hot, known as capsaicin can also be used to reduce pain. According to few research it is suggested that creams that contain capsaicin might numb pain receptors and can bring relief to painful or inflamed joints. (3) You should apply such creams regularly on your affected joints to get relief from psoriatic arthritis.
Ginger root is a spice that has got enough of anti-inflammatory properties. You can use ginger to reduce various inflammatory conditions including arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation has suggested that this spice might help patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which is one of the inflammatory type of arthritis. (4)
5. Fish Oil
Fish oil is known to be anti-inflammatory because of its rich omega-3 fatty acid contents.
As per a study of 2018, it was shown that taking fish oil on a daily basis might improve the tenderness and stiffness of the joint which is quite enough to help individuals with psoriatic arthritis to reduce their dependence on NSAIDs. (5)
According to a study conducted in the year 2016 it was found that fish oil supplements might even improve your heart function and can protect you against heart disease. (6) This could be something really an important finding, as people suffering from psoriatic arthritis are at higher risk of getting heart disease.
In order to add more of omega-3 fatty acids to your daily diet, you need to increase your intake of fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, or simply take a fish oil supplement.
NOTE: High levels of fish oil might interfere with specific medicines, such as warfarin or Coumadin. So it is always important for you to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is known to improve bone health. You can get vitamin D from fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, cereals, and most importantly from the sunlight.
Taking this vitamin has not been found to improve psoriatic arthritis; however, as per research, it is found that some individuals with psoriatic arthritis have a vitamin D deficiency. (7)
7. Probiotics And Prebiotics
Healthy bacteria known as the probiotics are thought to offer tremendous health benefits by supporting good bacteria living in our gut. According to a study of 2015, it is found that individuals with psoriatic arthritis had quite less diversity of bacteria in their intestine as compared to the healthy participants. (8) Taking probiotics and prebiotics might aid you in increasing gut biodiversity. (9) Prebiotocs are the substances that help in the growth of good bacteria.
Probiotics are present in yogurt, pickles, fermented cheeses, sauerkraut, tempeh, and some types of milk. Apart from this, garlic, onions, and dandelion greens are some foods that have probiotics in them.
NOTE: Always ask your doctor before taking the supplements.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
It is found that apply cider vinegar could be a great natural treatment for psoriatic arthritis. Applying it to the affected areas of your skin might help you with scalp psoriasis, however, if your affected area is bleeding or cracked, you must not use apple cider vinegar.
9. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has got anti-inflammatory properties and thus it might help in relieving skin conditions or symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Before applying the oil, you should do a patch test first, as this might aggravate the skin condition in some people.
10. Oats And Dead Sea Salts
Oatmeal can be added in a bath to help soothe irritated skin. You can also add Dead Sea salts to your bath. The water must be warm, and not hot, as it can trigger your symptoms.
You should try to keep your skin well moisturized by applying the moisturizer, at least once in a day. The best time to moisturize your skin is within 5 minutes of taking your shower. You should use a thick moisturizer for best effects on your skin.
12. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel is also known to soothe various skin conditions. It is well known for soothing sunburns and for helping wounds heal quickly. Research has found that a gel or a cream containing aloe vera might help in relieving some of the swelling, redness, and scaling that is generally associated with psoriasis. (10) It is recommended by the National Psoriasis Foundation that you should use creams containing 0.5% of aloe vera. (11) You can apply the cream up to thrice a day for best result.
13. Oregon Grape
Oregon grape, or Mahonia aquifolium is a medicinal herb that has germ-killing properties in it. In a review study of 2018, it is found that a cream or an ointment with 10% Oregon grape improved symptoms of psoriasis with minimal side effects. (12)
The Dead Sea situated in Israel, roughly 1300 feet below the sea level is full of minerals and it is very salty. People soak in this Dead Sea for centuries so as to improve their skin appearance and reduce inflammation of the skin.
Soothing any skin condition by bathing in mineral springs is called as Balneotherapy. There are only a few studies which have looked at this natural remedy for psoriatic arthritis; however the results have been quite promising. (13)
You can try a trip to the Dead Sea if possible or can purchase the Dead Sea salts to use for treating your psoriatic arthritis conditions.
Exercising regularly can benefit you in many ways and it has been found that patients with psoriatic arthritis get great benefits by regular exercises. Some of the benefits of exercise for psoriatic arthritic patients are as follows.
- It prevents stiffness of joints.
- Exercise help in improving muscle strength, which makes the daily tasks a little easier.
- It helps in maintaining bone density.
- It reduces stress and improves your overall mood.
- Exercise helps in reducing fatigue.
- It reduces your risk of getting heart disease and diabetes.
- Exercise promotes weight loss, which takes pressure off your joints.
If you have painful joints due to psoriatic arthritis, you can try low-impact exercises, such as yoga, swimming, walking, tai chi, pilates, and cycling.
Resistance training helps in strengthening the muscles that support your painful joints.
A study from the year 2018 has found that twice in a week sessions of resistance training has improved functional ability, disease activity, and also improved the quality of life in patients with psoriatic arthritis. (14)
Make sure you warm up before exercising so as to prepare your body and also to prevent injury. Make sure that you stretch after each session too.
Stretches are most important part of psoriatic arthritis therapy. Stretches prevent tightness and also keeps you limber. Moreover, it also helps you to avoid injuries while you exercise.
The National Psoriasis Foundation has recommended 15 minutes of stretching as a part of your regular exercising routine. (15)
NOTE: Make sure that you are working with a qualified personal fitness trainer or a physical therapist so as to create a daily stretching and exercising routine that works right for you.
17. Getting Enough Sleep
You must be aware that sleep can help you in managing inflammation, reducing stress and enhancing your overall health and well-being.
It is explained by the National Psoriatic Foundation that individuals with psoriatic conditions tend to have more issues with their sleep than those people without the conditions. One reason for this interrupted or disrupted sleep could be itching and pain that might make it hard to sleep.
So, in order to encourage good sleep you should make your room quite dark and keep the room temperature quite comfortable, switch off your phones and other digital devices and try to go to bed at the same time every night. If all these strategies do not help you, do consult with your doctor for a better solution.
Massage is known to relieve muscle tension and also to reduce stress. As per a review of 2017, it is found that massage is helpful for relieving pain and for improving strength and movements in patients of arthritis. (16)
However, it is not very clear if it is better that treatment such as the acupuncture. For finding best results, you should see a massage therapist who is well trained in providing massage services to people with psoriatic arthritis.
Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine where the practitioners place hair-thin needles into several pressure points around your body. Inserting needles promotes the release of natural pain relievers, such as endorphins and serotonin hormones.
Research on using acupuncture for various other forms of arthritis has found that it is beneficial at relieving pain and in improving movement and normal quality of life. (17) In case you want to try this technique, you need to consult with a licensed acupuncturist who has got experience in treating psoriatic arthritis. It is also important for you to talk to your doctor before trying acupuncture for your condition.
You need to treat unwanted stress that must be arriving in you due to your condition. Mindfulness involves being completely aware of your body, its feeling, and any changes in the body that might be signaling an approaching flare. It even involves being aware of any situation that might result in unnecessary stress. Meditation can really help in reducing stress and the pain occurring due to psoriatic arthritis condition.
21. Cold And Heat Therapy
Heating pads are known to loosen joints and help in relaxing your aching muscles. Moist heat from a wet cloth or warm bath can be particularly soothing to your sore joints.
Cold packs are known to reduce pain and swelling. Simply wrap the ice pack in a clean cloth so avoid damaging your skin. In order to help yourself with arthritis symptoms, you can alternate heat and cold as required.
22. Avoid Or Quit Smoking
As per current guidelines, it is recommended strongly to either quit or avoid smoking, as this is a major trigger for psoriatic arthritis and symptom flares. (18) Your doctor would be able to recommend you a suitable smoking cessation program or an effective tool
Some Diet Tips For Psoriatic Arthritis
You must note that a psoriatic arthritis condition can be improved with a nutritious or a well balanced diet that primarily emphasizes on fresh vegetables and fruits.
Foods containing antioxidants and fiber might help in reducing pain and inflammation. It must be mentioned that inflammation is one underlying factor in case of psoriatic conditions and others that might occur alongside them, such as heart disease and obesity.
You can try taking healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables that can provide you enough of antioxidants and fiber and help you maintain healthy weight. Adding fast, especially the plant-based fat sources like olive and avocado oil are good choices. Moreover, if you are taking dairy products, choose low-fat or fat-free products; avoid processed foods, salts and sugar. One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is to remain hydrated and drink plenty of water and limit consuming alcoholic or sugary drinks.
So, we talked about a lot of natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis. Though you can try using these natural remedies, it is always essential for you to speak to your doctor before trying any new treatment so as to ensure if that is suitable for you and to keep away from any sort of complication.