Psoriatic arthritis involves inflammation, pain, and swelling in the joints. Some natural treatment options — including stress reduction, exercise, capsaicin, and oatmeal — may help.
Psoriatic conditions tend to occur in cycles. They feature periods of flare, when symptoms worsen, and periods of remission, when symptoms reduce or disappear for some time.
Current medical treatment options can help slow the progression of PsA, prevent flares, and relieve symptoms, but natural and alternative remedies can also help a person relieve their symptoms.
Some approaches aim to relieve symptoms, while others help reduce the risk of a flare. However, not all of these remedies have scientific evidence to support them.
The following natural remedies may help with PsA:
Curcumin, which is a component of turmeric, appears to have anti-inflammatory properties.
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People can add turmeric to food or take turmeric capsules.
Capsaicin is the compound that makes chili peppers hot.
Some research suggests that creams containing capsaicin may numb pain receptors, bringing relief to painful joints. A person can apply these creams to the affected joints.
3. Epsom salts
Warm water also helps loosen joints and relieve pain. The temperature should be 92–100°F (33–37.8°C).
4. Fish oil
Ginger is a root and a spice that appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. The Arthritis Foundation suggests that ginger may help people with rheumatoid arthritis, another inflammatory type of arthritis.
Exercise can boost a person’s overall health and quality of life. It can also reduce stiffness, strengthen muscles, aid in weight management, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. Avoiding or quitting smoking
8. Massage therapy
A massage therapist with knowledge of PsA can help relieve joint discomfort and release tight muscles and joints. Getting a massage can provide significant relief from arthritis-related discomfort.
A qualified acupuncturist can insert needles at various pressure points to relieve chronic pain. Some
However, acupuncture can be expensive and may trigger skin symptoms in some people with psoriasis.
A therapist can apply pressure to different areas of the body to reduce pain, stimulate the immune system, and release tension.
The following tips may help:
11. Relaxing activities
Many people find it hard to reduce their stress levels, especially when they feel unwell. Meditating, practicing yoga, and getting enough sleep each night may help a person manage stress and promote relaxation.
12. Adequate sleep
Sleep can help people manage inflammation, reduce stress, and boost their overall health and well-being.
The Arthritis Foundation explains that people with psoriatic conditions tend to have more sleep problems than those without these conditions.
One reason is that itching and pain can make it hard to sleep.
To encourage high quality sleep, a person can try these tips:
- Make sure the room is dark and the temperature is comfortable.
- Leave cell phones and other devices outside the room.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
If these strategies do not help, a doctor may be able to offer another solution.
13. Warm baths
Spa therapy, including hydrotherapy such as taking a warm bath, can relax stiff joints, ease pain and inflammation, promote relaxation, and lower stress levels.
14. Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness involves being aware of the body, how it is feeling, and any changes that may signal an approaching flare. It also involves being aware of any situations that may cause unnecessary stress. Meditation can help people manage pain and stress.
People with PsA may experience skin symptoms in addition to arthritis. Here are some remedies that may help soothe the skin:
15. Apple cider vinegar
Applying apple cider vinegar to affected areas of skin may help with scalp psoriasis. However, people should not use apple cider vinegar if the affected areas are cracked or bleeding.
16. Oregon grape
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17. Tea tree oil
18. Oats and Dead Sea salts
Oatmeal can help soothe irritated skin if a person applies it as a paste or uses it in a bath.
A person can also add Dead Sea salts to their bath. The water should be warm, never hot, as hot water can trigger symptoms.
19. Aloe vera
This soothing plant-based balm can provide comfort when a person applies it to patches of irritated skin.
A person should try to moisturize their skin at least once per day. The best time to do this is within 5 minutes of taking a bath or shower. A thick moisturizer is usually best. A pharmacist can suggest suitable options.
Consuming foods that provide essential nutrients can help a person with psoriatic arthritis feel better and may reduce the risk of some complications, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and related conditions.
21. Nutritious foods
Foods that contain antioxidants and fiber may help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is an underlying factor in psoriatic conditions and other conditions that can occur alongside them, including obesity and heart disease.
People may find these guidelines helpful:
- Fruits and vegetables can provide antioxidants and fiber and help a person maintain a moderate weight.
- Fats from plant-based sources, such as avocado and olive oil, are good choices. People should limit their intake of animal fats and trans fats, which are present in many processed foods.
- People should choose dairy products that are low fat or fat-free.
- Fresh, whole, unprocessed foods are a better option than highly processed ones.
- Consuming too much added sugar and salt can increase the risk of some health issues.
- Drinks are essential for staying hydrated, but water is preferable to alcoholic and sugary drinks.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends a Mediterranean diet for people with PsA.
22. Weight management
Obesity can affect the body’s response to some treatments used for psoriatic disease, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. Examples of TNF inhibitors for PsA
Experts do not understand how PsA and obesity affect each other, but losing weight or maintaining a moderate weight is likely to improve a person’s overall health and well-being. It may also help a person manage the effects of PsA.
It is important to remember that natural remedies do not replace the treatment plan a doctor prescribes. However, they may help relieve some symptoms if a person uses them alongside medical treatment.
People should always follow these guidelines:
- Buy products from a reliable source.
- Follow the directions on the package.
- Find a qualified professional for any alternative therapy.
- Ask a doctor before trying any alternative or complementary therapy.
Some therapies may interact with medications or cause unwanted effects. A doctor can advise people on trustworthy sources.
Here are some answers to questions people often ask about natural and alternative remedies for PsA.
Can you heal psoriatic arthritis (PsA) naturally?
Natural remedies and lifestyle strategies can help manage PsA, but people should use them alongside medical treatment. Anyone with PsA should follow a doctor’s advice on treatment.
Some key strategies for managing PsA include weight management and avoiding or quitting smoking. Turmeric, acupuncture, and various other complementary approaches may also help people manage symptoms.
Which vitamins are good for psoriatic arthritis?
No specific vitamin can help with PsA, but a diet that focuses on fresh ingredients will provide a balance of nutrients that are essential for overall health and well-being.
What foods should I avoid with psoriatic arthritis?
Highly processed foods with added salt and sugar can have an inflammatory effect on the body, while fresh fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Cutting out added salt can also reduce the risk of various health issues, such as high blood pressure. Avoiding added sugars can lower the chance of weight gain.