An adult male sits exhausted on a yoga ball with physical therapy tools and a walker to each side.

The Fatigue Wins! Physical Therapy vs. Psoriatic Arthritis

Last updated: June 2023

Fatigue. We're all familiar with it. It can be described as constant tiredness and heavy weakness. It's a primary symptom of psoriatic arthritis and most people with chronic illnesses. Our bodies are physically tired from processing and experiencing so much pain.

My own psoriatic arthritis plays a role in my fatigue levels as well as my sleep pattern. Personally, I average about 4 hours of sleep a night. My body's fluctuating inflammation doesn't help, either. I go to bed tired and wake up tired.

A whole new level of fatigue

I've recently had a bad knee injury and found myself needing physical therapy to strengthen my leg. Because of this injury, I am not able to drive, so my physical therapist comes to me. The idea of physical therapy may make your eyes roll -, but for me, it means one step closer to healing.

What I didn't take into account was the impact physical activity and therapy would have on my body - emotionally and physically. In other words, after my therapy is completed, I am so tired. My fatigue levels are at an all-time low. I feel like I have been put in a washing machine that has been put on spin and left there.

Physical therapy has wiped me out!

After 8 weeks of not walking, I am now up walking and using a walker. Before this, I had only been using a wheelchair to get around. I was so scared to walk for the first time. However, once I got started, it felt so good to be up and walking, even with the use of the walker.

I was not prepared for the added weight of the brace. Walking that thing around - I was exhausted after one lap around my living room! The therapist made me do two laps that first week. By the time she put me through the regiment of strengthening exercises and walking, I was so tired I couldn’t do anything else the rest of the day.

Fatigue from all angles!

My laps around my house with my walker have increased. I am now up to 4 laps - 2 while she is in my house and 2 after she leaves. I know I am getting stronger, but the physical toll, it's exhausting! Partnered with my PsA fatigue, I feel like a walking glob of exhaustion!

My sleep is pretty much non-existent at this point. I have always been one of those people where total exhaustion keeps me awake, rather than puts me to sleep. I'm truly experiencing fatigue from all angles. Alas, I will keep pushing on, increasing my laps (while also increasing my fatigue). I will walk again.

This or That

Do you experience enthesitis alongside your PsA?

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