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Distraction Therapy – Finding Ways to Cope with Pain

Distraction Therapy – Finding Ways to Cope with Pain

Distraction: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

Who couldn’t use a little distraction from pain, fatigue, and emotional stress of living with psoriatic arthritis? The sheer nature of the disease forces us to spend a great deal of time focused on ourselves. When you body is screaming at you, how can you not? The joint pain is loud, demanding attention. The fatigue blurs our thoughts until we can’t compose simple sentences. How do we cope with all of that?

Distraction therapy

We search our lives trying to find meaningful distractions to quiet the booming voice. The fact is, using distraction therapy to manage chronic pain is an actual thing. Basically, when you get involved in something in order to distract your mind from the pain, you are actually using distraction therapy to manage your pain. When you do something in order to take your mind off of the pain, or distract yourself, it can actually be very effective.


This first clicked with me, in its simplest form, when I was in the Emergency Room with my youngest as she was getting staples (yes, actual staples) in head from a fall. We sang, we colored, we even took selfies, all to help distract her from the pain. I thought, duh! If this works for her, it can work for anyone. So I sat down and made a list. What things do I enjoy enough so that I could use them as a valid distraction, especially if I was having a flare?


I know it may sound “simple.” But coloring, allowing my mind to focus on the patterns, combinations of colors, and images keeps me distracted from the aches and pains. Plus, it allows me to produce something beautiful as a result.


Nothing allows the mind to escape like a good book. Whatever you are into, sci-fi, murder mysteries, classics, heck even smut; doesn’t matter as long as it can whisk your mind away to a pain-free world. Even if your hands hurt to hold a book or an e-reader, there are many assistive devices that will hold these at the perfect position for you. Not to mention the many bathtub trays that can hold your book at the perfect angle while you soak in a nice, hot epsom salt bath.

Yarn crafts

Knitting, crocheting, or other yarn crafts can keep the mind wondrously occupied. Plus, when done in moderation it is very good “exercise” for the muscles and joints in your hands and arms. With so many great causes needing items like blankets, hats, and socks you not only get to find a way to cope with your own pain, but you get to help ease the pain of others.

Distraction therapy

Next time your body is screaming at you. Take a step back and see if distraction therapy might just help you deal with a little bit of that pain. Pick up a crossword, a great book, or even some knitting needles and you might just find that the pain passes a little faster than you ever thought it would.

What do you do to distract yourself from your psoriatic arthritis pain? Drop you activities below and who know, you may just find someone who loves the same activity as you!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.