Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

  • Protect your joints. Changing the way you carry out everyday tasks can make a tremendous difference in how you feel. For example, you can avoid straining your finger joints by using gadgets such as jar openers to twist the lids from jars, by lifting heavy pans or other objects with both hands, and by pushing doors open with your whole body instead of just your fingers.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight places less strain on your joints, leading to reduced pain and increased energy and mobility. The best way to increase nutrients while limiting calories is to eat more plant-based foods — fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise can help keep your joints flexible and your muscles strong. Types of exercises that are less stressful on joints include biking, swimming and walking.
  • Pace yourself. Battling pain and inflammation can leave you feeling exhausted. In addition, some arthritis medications can cause fatigue. The key isn't to stop being active entirely, but to rest before you become too tired. Divide exercise or work activities into short segments. Find time to relax several times throughout the day.

Coping and support

Psoriatic arthritis can be particularly discouraging because the emotional pain that psoriasis can cause is compounded by joint pain and, in some cases, disability.

The support of friends and family can make a tremendous difference when you're facing the physical and psychological challenges of psoriatic arthritis. For some people, support groups can offer the same benefits.

A counselor or therapist can help you devise coping strategies to reduce your stress levels. The chemicals your body releases when you're under stress can aggravate both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.