Alternative Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

Acupuncture, Fish Oil, and Yoga to Help Ease Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Certain complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments (also called “integrative modalities”) may help ease psoriatic arthritis symptoms, such as chronic joint pain and swelling. But which ones should you try?

Although CAM treatments are not always recognized by all mainstream medical practitioners, many people with psoriatic arthritis, as well as their caregivers and doctors, find these treatments to be helpful.

In this article, we boil down key CAM and integrative treatments that may help you manage psoriatic arthritis.

Before trying any of these alternative treatments, talk it over with your doctor to be sure it’s safe to try.Some alternative treatments don’t mix well with traditional treatments, such as medications, so it’s definitely better to be safe and ask your doctor questions if you’re unsure of something.

Acupuncture for Psoriatic Arthritis

Although more research needs to be done exploring the usefulness of acupuncture for psoriatic arthritis, many people have found that acupuncture helps reduce pain, stiffness, and spasms associated with psoriatic arthritis.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing practicethat uses very thin needles to help promote the flow of energy (called Qi) in the body. It’s rooted in the belief that when Qi is blocked, it can create pain. More importantly, acupuncture is thought to work by promoting the release of endorphins—the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins aid in reducing pain and spasm.

Regular acupuncture treatments not only help ease pain and other psoriatic arthritis symptoms, but they also promote general wellness.

Massage for Psoriatic Arthritis

Massage may be beneficial if you have psoriatic arthritis because it can help decrease pain and promote healthy circulation in the body. There are several types of massage to choose from—from Swedish massage to deep tissue massage—so find the kind that works best for you.

Because psoriatic arthritis can cause stiffness and pain, let your massage therapist know you have psoriatic arthritis before getting a massage. He or she can also help you select the right type of massage.

Because of the frequent presence of psoriatic skin eruptions, special precautions may need to be followed when getting a massage.

Mind-body Techniques for Psoriatic Arthritis

It’s important to take care of both your mind and your body—especially when you have psoriatic arthritis. The pain and other symptoms of this condition can take an emotional toll on you, so it’s important to have the right tools to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Meditation, yoga, and tai chi are examples of mind-body therapies that can help you cope with the physical and mental aspects of psoriatic arthritis. These techniques can also significantly help relieve the stress often associated with dealing with psoriatic arthritis.

Supplements for Psoriatic Arthritis

Certain supplements may have an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect for psoriatic arthritis.1 Check with your doctor first about taking these supplements. He or she will also recommend the correct dosage for you.

In general, dietary supplements that may help relieve joint pain and/or inflammation:

  • Chondroitin
  • Fish oil
  • Glucosamine
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin D

You can also get some of these vitamins and minerals (ie, fish oil, turmeric, and vitamin D) by eating a variety of healthy foods.

Which Alternative Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis Are Right for You?

Everyone responds differently to psoriatic arthritis treatments—whether they’re alternative or traditional. For example, you may find that massage eases your chronic pain, but you may not notice a difference in your symptoms when taking fish oil supplements.

Although researchers still need to extensively examine whether thecomplementary and alternative medicine treatments listed in this article are beneficial for psoriatic arthritis, it can’t hurt to take good care of yourself by incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle.

Updated on: 11/19/15