Tips For Stretching When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
One of the things I hear almost every time I go to the doctor is how I need to lose weight and yes, I am in agreement. However, it is hard to lose weight when you live with the chronic pain of psoriatic arthritis.
Why it's important to stretch with psoriatic arthritis
On my latest trip to my rheumatologist's office, while waiting, I found myself looking at the patient room's television screen. It advertised treatment and movement options for psoriatic arthritis. The article was written by Everyday Health.
It gave five stretching tips for people living with the condition and I thought I would share those here with you just in case you were needing those tips as much as I did.
A physical therapist can help with proper stretching
Starting with a physical therapist is great advice if you have not properly been trained to stretch. A physical therapist is going to know techniques that you can do that will minimize any pain but get your joints moving in an effective manner.
If you do not know how to get in touch with a physical therapist have your doctor recommend one to or for you. You will want your doctor to agree to the treatment regimen if you have psoriatic arthritis really bad.
Pro tip: Even if your psoriatic arthritis is not really bad it is always good advice to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of physical activity.
If stretching hurts, stop
Exercise of any kind should never hurt and that includes stretching. If you find that your routine causes you pain while doing it, stop immediately.
If you do not stop and keep pushing through the pain the possibility of injuring yourself more comes into play. The goal is to get those tight muscles and joints moving. If you're like me that tightening feeling is worse in the mornings than it is at any other time of day.
Pro tip: Stretching helps to get the blood flowing which in turn helps to get the body moving. Only you will be able to say whether you can keep going or if you need to stop because of pain.
Stretch, don't bounce
Can you imagine why they said do not bounce? Bouncing puts a strain on your joints and muscles. That is something you never want to do when you have psoriatic arthritis.
Pro tip: The more strain you put your body in the more pain your body is going to have. You want everything to be smooth so that it loosens those aching joints.
Don't forget to focus on your fingers
I found this tip to be very beneficial. For me, since my fingers tend to swell from psoriatic arthritis. I don't usually consider my fingers as something that needs to be stretched but it does make sense. By stretching them you can maintain the flexibility that might otherwise be elusive.
Pro tip: For me, that means taking the time daily to stretch those fingers that are being used. Especially while I am typing, including this article. I don't know about you but I am definitely going to keep that tip in mind daily now.
Spread it out
This was another great tip for me. I find myself getting stiff as the day goes on. Part of the reasoning for that is stress. The longer the day involves sitting the stiffer my joints get. It is recommended that you should exercise or stretch at least fifteen minutes a day.
Pro tip: I always thought that time was a constant fifteen minutes. It turns out it does not have to be done constantly. Any stretching that is done in any increment of time can help with psoriatic arthritis stiffness.
Let's get stretching
Whether you research stretches to do or go to a physical therapist the idea is to get moving. Constant sitting or lying down can put extra pressure on your joints or muscles. Start small and work up from there.
Remember to talk to your doctor about any stretches you are doing so he/she can advise you on any concerns you may have. Also, remember that if it causes pain then you do not need to keep doing it.
If there are any suggestions you have on stretching then please share so that we all can try it. Happy Stretching Everyone!
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?