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How to Manage Day-to-Day Life With Psoriatic Arthritis

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: August 2022

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can be difficult and challenging to live with. It can cause significant pain, stiffness, and even loss of function in the affected joints. PsA can also cause fatigue and have a negative effect on a person’s quality of life.1

But there are steps you can take to make day-to-day life more manageable if you have a chronic condition like PsA. Read on for these tips.1

Follow your treatment plan

In the United States, nearly half of people who are prescribed medicines do not take them consistently or as prescribed by their doctor. For people with a chronic condition, this can lead to:2

  • Worsening symptoms
  • Higher rates of disease
  • Other health complications

Because PsA can cause progressive joint damage and loss of function, early and aggressive treatment is recommended. Getting treated consistently is the best way to prevent or delay the devastating effects of the disease. Always keep your medicines on hand so they are easy to access when and if you need them.1

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Talk with your doctor about what treatment regimen is best for you.

Try to get regular exercise and physical activity

While drug treatment is important, so is regular physical activity. Exercise is a key part of managing your PsA pain and maintaining the range of motion in your joints.3,4

Exercise has been shown to reduce pain and improve well-being in people with PsA. Physical activity can also help maintain muscle strength, which makes daily tasks easier.3,4

To avoid and prevent stiff and painful joints, aim to get some physical activity every day. Move your joints and your body in whatever way feels good to you. This could be as simple as:3,4

  • Going for a walk
  • Riding a bike
  • Swimming laps in a pool
  • Taking a yoga class (in person or online)

Acknowledge the emotional impact of PsA

A 2020 study found that people living with PsA are more likely than the general public to have depression and anxiety. Healthy coping strategies are critical to emotional and mental health.5-7

If you have PsA, consider joining a support group, either online or in person. Many people living with a chronic condition also benefit from seeing a mental health counselor or therapist. Talk with your doctor about your options.6,7

Use assistive devices to make daily life easier

For some people, adapting their home is necessary to ensure it is safe and functional. Assistive devices in the home can help protect painful, inflamed joints and make it easier to do everyday tasks. These devices include:8

  • Modified kitchen utensils
  • Walking canes
  • Shoe inserts

PsA can impact your ability to do many tasks related to your job as well. But you can use assistive devices in the workplace to make daily activities easier and less painful. Workplace assistive devices include:3,8

  • Ergonomic chairs and desks
  • Adjustable work surfaces
  • Telephones with large push buttons
  • Hands-free headsets

Ask for support

If you need support, your doctor can suggest ways to make your PsA symptoms more manageable. Occupational and physical therapists can help you find ways to make everyday tasks easier or less painful. Your employer also may be required by law to make reasonable accommodations for you, so ask for them if you need them.3,7,9

Use the above strategies to help make life with PsA a little easier. The stress, pain, and fatigue that come with chronic illness do not have to stand in your way of living a full life.