Psoriatic arthritis: Preventing flare-ups
Psoriatic arthritis can be an unpredictable condition, and worsening of symptoms or flare-ups can be triggered by stress.
Here are some tips on helping to prevent psoriatic arthritis flare-ups
When you’re feeling stressed and your psoriatic arthritis symptoms are worse, exercise can be one of the first things to be neglected. If you’re tempted to bury those trainers in the back of your wardrobe, keep in mind that exercise can be an incredibly effective stress reliever. An added bonus - exercise improves not only the emotional symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, but the physical ones too.
If a gym doesn’t appeal to you - perhaps you’re uncomfortable wearing exercise clothes in front of others because of your skin lesions - you don’t have to skip exercise altogether. Just pick activities you enjoy such as taking the dog for a brisk walk, watching your favourite television show as you ride an exercise bike or doing water aerobics.
Because it can be stressful to begin a new exercise programme, make sure you begin slowly, especially when your joints are swollen and inflamed.
There’s a reason that professionals recommend stress management techniques for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis - they work.
There are many stress relief options, from yoga and meditation to setting aside a few minutes to curl up in your favourite chair and listen to soothing music. They might even make your treatment work better. One study of 37 patients undergoing psoriasis treatment found that those who meditated during therapy responded better than those who didn’t.
If you feel guilty taking “me-time” when you could be paying bills or running errands, remember that practising stress management techniques will improve your overall health, and give you more energy to do the things you need (and want) to do.
When you have a chronic condition such as psoriatic arthritis, it’s important to recognise that it will have an impact on your life. So take the time to think about what’s important to you and what’s reasonable to expect of yourself, given your stress and psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Making sure you participate in activities you enjoy on a regular basis can have a positive effect on your psychological wellbeing. So if you’re sore, fatigued and having stress symptoms because you’re not spending as much time with your children as you’d like, there’s no need to provide homemade cakes for the school’s fun days. Why not make things easier by picking up a selection from the bakery and then enjoying a quiet evening at home with the family?