Three phases of arthritis pain surrounded by cyclical arrows.

Psoriatic Arthritis: Breaking The Pain Cycle

Cycle. A series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order. For those with psoriatic arthritis, a cycle would be described as a series of pain that is regularly repeated in the same order.

Us psoriatics are faced with a continuous pattern of pain, fatigue, and swelling often keeps us from doing the very things that could potentially help us feel better. You see, stretching and moving are often good for me, and yet it is those same movements that can cause more pain and fatigue...

The psoriatic arthritis pain cycle

One of the most important things in coming out of a pain cycle is to begin the process of assessing it. Is there something in particular that often prompts your pain? And what follows, or what consequences come as a result?

For example, we recently had all the holiday cheer that comes in the fall and winter. Before I knew it, cookie bake days and holiday meals became gluten, sugar, and dairy-filled days. “Oh, just one bite,” quickly spiraled into, “Well, I’ve already messed it up, might as well go with it!

And wham bam, my joints were painful and swollen, so much so that even gentle stretching was nearly intolerable. So diet decisions led me to pain, which led me to fatigue, which then led me to further diet, pain, and rest. An apparent cycle, if you will.

It is possible to break the pain cycle. Here's where to start.

Once we find ourselves in this cycle of pain, it can feel like it becomes nearly impossible to fight our way out and make different choices. You may have a few “false starts,” but I hope with a little support and encouragement that, together, we can fight back to break the cycle of pain.

Call your doctor

As much as I don’t like to revert to it, sometimes a prednisone taper can give us enough of a “boost” to get our painful feet under us to break the cycle. Getting over the “hump” so you aren’t constantly distracted by the pain and can just think clearly is a great first step.

Just start somewhere

Trying to get all our ducks in a row at once can be just too overwhelming. Start with just one thing. Try one vegetable smoothie. Go on one short walk. Complete one stress-relieving activity. All it takes is one small step in the right direction to start to turn things around.

Explore other options

Is it possible that you might benefit from meeting with a functional medicine doctor, exploring alternative pain management options, or trying acupuncture? Are there options you haven’t considered before that you could incorporate into your disease management regime that might be able to help break you out of your cycle of pain?

Do you ever find yourself smack dab in the middle of a cycle of pain? Are you able to identify your “cycle” and how do you find your way out of it?

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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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