Making work, work with psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can pose challenges in the workplace. Cope with lifestyle changes, adaptations and a chat with your boss.
When you head to work each day, you can't leave your psoriatic arthritis at home. Stiff, aching joints can affect your workplace performance. But open communication and simple adaptations can allow you to focus on your job — not your joints.
Consider talking to your supervisor
Research shows that psoriatic arthritis leads to more missed workdays. And when you are at work, psoriatic arthritis symptoms may take a toll on your productivity and quality of life.
While you're not required to tell anyone at work that you have psoriatic arthritis, you may find it helpful to talk with your supervisor. Simple changes in your workplace can help you be present and productive each day.
Ready to talk with your supervisor? Consider these ideas to start the conversation:
- Schedule a meeting at a time that's not stressful for either of you.
- Prepare and rehearse what you want to say.
- Plan some strategies to help you do and feel your best at work, such as changes in your schedule, responsibilities or desk setup.
Feel your best at work
Psoriatic arthritis can affect both small and large joints and cause significant fatigue. Ease symptoms with these daily actions:
Jan. 04, 2018
- Take frequent breaks. Take a one-minute break every 20 minutes and a five-minute break every hour. Go for a short walk, stretch or just get moving to ease stiffness.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Even professional clothing can feel good. Choose fabrics, such as silk or cotton, that are gentle on your skin. Avoid anything that feels tight or rubs.
- Choose roomy shoes. Skip tight shoes, high heels and those with a narrow toe box. Opt for shoes that don't pinch your feet, even if they're swollen.
- Reduce stress. Work can be a major stressor, but it can also worsen psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Try to stay organized at work, ask for help when you need it, and take time to relax or meditate daily.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices. A healthy lifestyle can help you feel your best, in general. Aim to maintain a healthy body weight, exercise regularly and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
- Adjust your schedule. If you have the option, consider talking to your manager about occasionally working from home. Or, adjust your schedule to work more on days you feel well, and less on days that your psoriatic arthritis symptoms flare.
See more In-depth
- Psoriatic arthritis at work. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/life-stages/work/psoriatic-arthritis-workplace.php. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- In the workplace. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/living-well/in-the-workplace. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- Living with psoriatic arthritis. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriatic-arthritis#work. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- Ergonomic workplace tips. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/life-stages/work/workplace-ergonomics.php. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- Kawalec P, et al. Disease activity, quality of life and indirect costs of psoriatic arthritis in Poland. Rheumatology International. 2016;36:1223.
- Ways to prevent foot pain and get around. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/where-it-hurts/foot-heel-and-toe-pain/foot-heel-and-toe-care/prevent-foot-pain.php. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 29, 2017.
- Preventing back pain. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/where-it-hurts/back-pain/back-care/back-pain-prevention.php. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- Stress and psoriatic disease. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/working-psoriasis. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.
- Psoriatic arthritis symptoms. National Psoriasis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/psoriatic-arthritis/symptoms.php. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.