Silhouettes of a woman experiencing pain in several areas of her body

Ask The Advocate: Coping With Psoriatic Arthritis Pain

For those with psoriatic arthritis, the condition can change how you live your life every single day. This condition is the center of the wheel that outreaches to all different aspects of life: physical and mental health, family, friends, and career.

If you're looking for a community that understands, then look no further.

Advice for coping with psoriatic arthritis pain

Our amazing group of psoriatic arthritis advocates answered a few questions to share their experiences and tips with the community. In this “Ask the Advocate” article, we asked our advocates to share how they personally cope with the daily pain of psoriatic arthritis.

Words of affirmation

Response from Leanne Donaldson
Coping with pain is pretty unique to each person. The basics usually include heat or cold, depending on the person and the variations of those packs. I find a long Epsom salt bath to be very helpful as well as my PEMF therapy device. But dealing with it physically and dealing with it mentally are two different things.

When you struggle to manage chronic pain, it takes a toll on your emotional health too. Suddenly, an otherwise sunny outlook or general mood becomes overwhelmed with coping with the constant pain and uncertainty of psoriatic arthritis.

The one thing that has helped me mentally to make it through the most difficult times is reminding myself that I've made it through them before. When you are smack dab in the middle of the pain, the fatigue, and nausea, it clouds your perspective on the reality of life.

Suddenly, all you can do is get from moment to moment as best you can and you can only hold on to one single thought-you will make it out of this dark place. Trying to think of anything beyond that is impossible. But knowing that I've done it before and survived is the only effective way that I have been able to even attempt to cope with the pain.

Exercise and support from others

Response from Alisha B
Exercise tends to help loosen my joints. I also choose treatments that manage psoriasis and the arthritis component of the disease. Loved ones help me cope mentally by letting me know I'm love and value.

I have a lot of support in and outside my community. Sharing my story is also very therapeutic for me. It helps me to advocate for myself, especially with doctors.

Distraction, pillows, and my partner

Response from Elizabeth Medeiros
I try to use distraction therapy whenever possible- I love to crochet, draw, and write. Doing something enjoyable can be great medicine! If I'm at work or otherwise doing something, I'll listen to a podcast, comedy special, or music--anything to help brighten my mood and take my mind off the pain.

Whenever distraction isn't enough, I like to use heating pads and arthritis cream to help ease the pain. Pillows to position my joints in more comfortable positions also help; I have two specially shaped ones for my hips. Compression socks and garments also help tremendously on the days I'm dealing with enthesitis.

I have an amazingly supportive partner. He's excellent at reading my body language and knowing when I'm hurting. Sometimes, I tend to want to push past the pain, but my boyfriend encourages me to take breaks and not to push myself so hard. I think I would be worse for wear without his reassurance to allow myself to rest, and willingness to take over chores so I can relax.

Rest and proactive pain relief

Response from Joel Nelson
I feel like I should answer this by saying ‘I don’t’ but that’s probably being unfair on me! I have always lived with moderate to severe pain since I was a child. I feel like I handled it much better back then but the truth is known, I just had more opportunities to rest then. Fewer responsibilities.

When my flares peaked, I used to be admitted to hospital for several weeks at a time, for a mix of bed rest and treatments. As a husband, father, and breadwinner, you can’t afford to lay in bed all week--so the pain is much worse, for longer.

I use a mix of distractions, hot morning salt baths, staying on top of pain relief rather than reacting to pain and hobbies such as my writing and listening to music. I also try to throw myself into family life. I have a 15-month-old, so he certainly keeps me on my toes!

Ask The Advocate Series

This is a journey that many psoriatic arthritis patients follow, taking their conditions and their understanding of them into their own hands.

We are so grateful to have this particular group of advocates on and build this community of shared understanding, support, and knowledge together. For more patient and advocate insight, we encourage you to check out our entire Ask The Advocate series.

Want to learn more about coping with arthritis pain?

Learning more is as easy as signing up for our email list. Our collective voices have a huge impact, and we hope you will add your unique voice. The best part? Your journey living with psoriatic disease is all you need to get started!

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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.

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