Lifestyle Changes for Psoriatic Arthritis

NYU Langone rheumatologists recommend making several lifestyle changes to ease the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.

Exercise

The pain and stiffness associated with psoriatic arthritis may make you hesitant to exercise. Unfortunately, not being physically active can worsen your symptoms. Lack of exercise has been shown to cause muscle weakness and worsen joint instability.

Regular exercise can help you to prevent or manage the discomfort of psoriatic arthritis. NYU Langone doctors often recommend range-of-motion exercises, which preserve and restore joint motion. They also encourage strength training, which builds muscle and tendon strength to help stabilize and support joints.

Low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, can benefit the spine and increase endurance. Modified yoga and Pilates exercises can also help increase strength without putting much pressure on your joints and spine.

Stress

For some people, psoriatic arthritis symptoms are exacerbated by tension and stress. It may be helpful to participate in activities that combat stress, such as meditation, exercise, and integrative therapies, which can help you to relax.

If you feel unable to manage stress, your NYU Langone rheumatologist may recommend seeing a counselor, who can help you develop coping techniques.

Rest

Too little activity can cause muscle weakness, but too much can trigger a flare-up of symptoms. If this occurs, consider resting the affected joints. When you feel better, you can resume exercising.

Alcohol

Some medications for psoriatic arthritis may increase the risk of liver damage. If you have psoriatic arthritis and are taking medications to manage the condition, your doctor may recommend refraining from drinking alcohol.

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