Psoriatic arthritis is a joint disease that causes chronic inflammation in the tendons and ligaments inside the joints. It is commonly associated with people who also have a diagnosis of psoriasis, which is a skin condition where skin cells develop dry, red, itchy patches. Many people who develop psoriatic arthritis are first diagnosed with psoriasis, though joint problems and skin patches can occur at the same time. All joints in the body can be affected by psoriatic arthritis, from the joints in your spine to your fingers and toes. While there is no cure for this condition, there are psoriatic arthritis treatments available to help manage joint pain, decrease inflammation, and help prevent future damage to your joints.
Psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are chronic diseases that are progressive, meaning they get worse over time. However, it is possible to experience periods of time where symptoms may lessen or go into remission before they worsen again. If you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis then it is important to pay attention to any possible joint pain, as this may be a sign you are developing psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are both auto-immune disorders that develop because your body’s immune system starts to attack its own healthy tissues and cells. This immune response can lead to inflammation in and around your joints as well as an overproduction of skin cells, as evidenced by red, flaky patches on the skin.
Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis
In order to diagnose psoriatic arthritis, your doctor will perform a physical exam to identify a few common markers and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Your doctor will want to look for swelling around your joints and also gently test your joints for any tenderness or discomfort. Pitting, flaking fingernails are a sign of psoriatic arthritis, so your doctor will also want to examine your fingernails. Additionally, your doctor may examine the bottom of your feet to identify any areas of tenderness. While there is no specific test to detect psoriatic arthritis, some tests can help assess joint inflammation and help to rule out other possible diagnoses. X-rays and MRIs can help provide your doctor with clearer images of your joints and may want to repeat scans over the years to monitor any changes to your joints.
Treating Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis may not have a cure, but there are ways to treat psoriatic arthritis symptoms to help slow the progression of the disease. The two most common ways of treating psoriatic arthritis are managing inflammation and managing pain.
Managing Inflammation from Psoriatic Arthritis
While there are many types of psoriatic arthritis treatments that report efficacy in managing inflammation, only some types of treatments can manage inflammation in your joints naturally and without medications. While general, over-the-counter pain medications may temporarily relieve joint pain, this is a short-term solution that does have a risk of uncomfortable side effects. There are medications your doctor may recommend that can help with slowing the progression of your psoriatic arthritis by suppressing immune system responses. These types of medications may be helpful or you might find them to have more uncomfortable side effects than you would prefer.
There are natural and effective ways to manage inflammation if you are interested in avoiding medications with unwanted side effects and hope to avoid more invasive procedures like steroid injections or surgeries. Because psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis can cycle through periods of flare-ups and then remission, some natural approaches to managing inflammation can help to keep inflammation down and reduce the risk of future flare-ups and relieve symptoms. At Alan Nathans Family Chiropractic, our team is dedicated to helping you find natural, safe, and effective solutions for managing inflammation and swelling through chiropractic care, soft wave therapy, as well as with lifestyle and nutrition changes. Some exercises and stretches can help improve joint flexibility and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. These types of activities can also help to redistribute and relieve pressure on your joints.
Managing Pain from Psoriatic Arthritis
Your doctor may prescribe medications or traditional psoriatic arthritis treatments to help manage your pain with varying results and success. If you find yourself more interested in natural approaches to pain management and wish to avoid side effects, then Alan Nathans Family Chiropractic offers chiropractic care, soft wave therapy, and lifestyle and nutritional updates that can help you manage your pain naturally. Lifestyle and nutritional changes can help you better maintain a healthy weight, which will help prevent added pressure on your afflicted joints. There are also specific foods that you can incorporate into your diet that can help provide a natural analgesic for your psoriatic arthritis pain. Identifying activities and parts of your routine where you notice an increase in joint pain can help you and your doctor to develop alternate options for mobility to avoid flare-ups.
Chiropractic Care for Psoriatic Arthritis
Chiropractic offers a variety of benefits for those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis. Chiropractors can help identify which joints are affected by your psoriatic arthritis and help address the root cause while also helping manage your symptoms. In order to get the most out of your chiropractic care, your chiropractor will work to address symptoms of pain, discomfort, and inflammation associated with both your psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. One great benefit of going to a chiropractor is for boosting your immune system. Chiropractic care involves identifying any misalignments or swelling that may be affecting your body’s nervous system. Removing obstacles to the nervous system allows it to more effectively communicate with your immune system and send healthy, healing signals through your body.
Additional benefits of chiropractic care for psoriatic arthritis include improving blood flow and preventing joint damage. Gentle adjustments and massage techniques can help increase blood flow, which can directly affect inflammation. Any misalignments in your spine may be contributing to your body’s inability to properly send blood to your ailing joints, and a chiropractor can resolve these misalignments and restore proper flow. Reducing inflammation by allowing proper blood flow will also help keep your joints rich with oxygen and nutrients. Pain, stiffness, and tenderness can occur in joints affected by psoriatic arthritis and your chiropractor can help address this with gentle adjustments and massages to the area.
Soft Wave Therapy for Psoriatic Arthritis
At Alan Nathans Family Chiropractic, we offer another type of psoriatic arthritis treatment called soft wave therapy. Soft wave therapy is a type of regenerative medicine treatment that is non-invasive and has very little to no side effects. This is a great option for people who wish to avoid more invasive procedures like surgeries that can have significant recovery periods and complications. Instead, a soft wave therapy treatment can take as little as 15 minutes and can provide you with instant pain relief. This type of psoriatic arthritis treatment works by sending sound waves directly to the affected areas, which in the case of psoriatic arthritis includes your affected joints. This therapy encourages your body’s natural healing responses, which include promoting oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flow to the area. This type of therapy encourages the body’s natural healing abilities and also can help to improve functioning and increase the range of motion in your joints.
Visit Alan Nathans Family Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Florida, to find out more about the types of natural, effective psoriatic arthritis treatment options available for managing your pain and inflammation. Our goal is to help you experience lasting pain relief so you can go about your daily routine without stress or discomfort. Schedule an appointment by calling our office or visiting us online today.