Being diagnosed with psoriasis is not easy, but being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis a few years down the road may be even harder. No longer is your psoriasis largely a cosmetic issue; it now affects your ability to move, bend, and work. You should work closely with your physician to find the right combination of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant medications to keep your symptoms under control. However, working with a physical therapist can also be helpful. Here are some of the things a physical therapist can do for a patient with psoriatic arthritis.
Especially if your psoriatic arthritis symptoms are worst in your legs and back, orthotics can help. These are basically padded inserts that you wear inside your shoes. Where exactly the padding needs to be placed will depend on your unique build and which joints are most affected by the psoriatic arthritis. Your physical therapist can watch you walk, analyze the form of your feet and legs, and then have orthotics specifically designed for you to wear. This should ease the pain you feel when walking and standing and also allow you to end each day with less overall soreness.
It is common for psoriatic arthritis patients to be in the most pain in the morning. If you are able to stretch effectively before you get out of bed, those first few steps won't be as painful. If you tell your physical therapist where you are feeling the most pain in the mornings, they can show you some stretches to do in bed to loosen those areas up. Of course, you can always do these stretches before getting up off the couch or out of our desk chair, too.
The idea of strength training may sound a little strange as your joints are throbbing, but actually, this can be really helpful. If your muscles are stronger, then your joints won't have to take as much of the strain when you move and stand. Your physical therapist can identify which muscles may be your weakest, and then they can guide you through various exercises to strengthen those areas. As the weeks go on, your pain level will slowly decrease as your muscles grow stronger.
Psoriatic arthritis can be quite painful, but if you stay on top of your physical therapy appointments, you can keep the pain and stiffness under control. Focus on improvement, and stick with your exercises. Find a physical therapist near you today.