Arthritis Prevention

Arthritis: Prevention

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but there are ways to prevent and ease the symptoms.

Is exercise an important component of psoriatic arthritis prevention?
Moderate, regular exercise may relieve joint stiffness and pain associated with psoriatic arthritis. A tailored program of range-of-motion and strengthening exercises, combined with cardiovascular exercise, can help do the following:
– Relieve arthritis symptoms
– Maintain normal joint movement
– Increase flexibility and muscle strength
– Maintain weight to reduce pressure on joints
– Improve endurance and cardiovascular fitness

What about water therapy and psoriatic arthritis prevention?
Water therapy (hydrotherapy or aqua therapy) is a program of exercises performed in a large pool. Water therapy may be easier on painful joints from psoriatic arthritis because the water takes some of the weight off the affected areas.

Appropriate recreational exercise also may be beneficial, but only if it is preceded by a program of range-of-motion, strength and aerobic exercises to reduce the chance of injury. 

Regardless of the exercise program you select, it’s important to choose one you enjoy so that you maintain it.

Exercise programs can be done at home or with a physical therapist and are customized according to the disease and physical capabilities of each patient. Warm-up stretching, or other techniques, such as hot shower or HEAT applications are helpful to relax muscles prior to exercise.

ICE application after the routine can help minimize post-exercise soreness and inflammation.

In general, exercises for psoriatic arthritis are performed for the purpose of strengthening and maintaining or improving joint range of motion. They should be done on a regular basis for best results.

How can HEAT and COLD therapy help with psoriatic arthritis prevention?
HEAT and COLD therapy involves alternating MOIST HEAT and COLD to affected joints to provide temporary relief of pain and swelling associated with psoriatic arthritis.

MOIST HEAT THERAPY— supplied by a warm towel, hot pack, or warm bath or shower — can help relax aching muscles and relieve joint pain and soreness.

COLD therapy — supplied by a bag of ICE or even frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel — can reduce swelling and relieve pain by numbing the affected joints.

WebMD Medical Reference
View Article Sources
Arthritis Foundations: “Psoriatic Arthritis”
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: “Psoriatic Arthritis.”
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders: “Roundtable Discussion on Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.”
National Psoriasis Foundations: “About Psoriasis: Psoriatic Arthritis.”
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACR, FACP on March 13, 2008

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