Exploring Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis
It has taken me quite a while to come to the conclusion that one single “magic bullet” to treat my psoriatic arthritis just doesn’t exist. If I want to live the best life possible, it is going to take a whole army of medications and therapies to keep the symptoms of PsA from advancing. With that in mind, I think it is a good idea to explore some of the complementary and alternative therapy options that I’ve tried so far.
There are many people that swear that the dietary changes they have made have helped them cope with symptoms. The most likely dietary changes I have found to be successful is the AutoImmune Protocol or AIP. It is a stricter form of the Paleo diet designed to decrease inflammation by eliminating preservatives and inflammation causing foods like many starches and sugars. It can be difficult to maintain but it does work well if you are trying to find which foods may contribute to your flares.
I use CBD oil to supplement my pain relief therapy and help to calm the inflammation in my body. I use several drops under my tongue in the morning and at night. In addition, I use CBD infused lotions and oils directly on my joints to help ease the aches.
There are several other herbal options known for their medicinal properties such as turmeric, chamomile, lavender, and frankincense. Essential oils are very popular for reducing anxiety and fighting pain and inflammation. I was recently given some essential oils as a gift. I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find them to be pretty effective.
Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and water therapy
Many doctors prescribe physical therapy to keep muscles and joints flexible. Going to physical therapy sessions can help show you, with guidance, the movements that can help improve fatigue and keep your body strong. Water therapy can allow you to exercise and get your body moving without the additional pressure on the joints.
Spiritual or faith-based therapy
Yes, this is a thing. Many studies suggest that having an active prayer life and belief in a higher power can help you cope with the physical and emotional challenges of living with a chronic illness. Not only that, many religions have very active communities which offer valuable support during especially stressful times. I know for me, having a deep faith in God has helped me through some of the darker days of living with psoriatic arthritis. I can maintain a deeper sense of hope and faith. In addition, I am better able to see all of the blessings that are in my life and make a conscious choice to focus on those instead of the challenges that PsA brings into my life.
When it comes down to it, the truth of the matter is that the more ammunition we have to fight PsA, the more likely it will be that we will feel better. Having a plan with several complementary strategies in place will greatly increase our odds of winning our everyday battles. We may not win the war, but we might be able to win a few battles along the way. When it comes to feeling better, I’ll take whatever I can get.
When all else fails, at least we have chocolate therapy, right?
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?