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4 Part Plan to Manage Psoriatic Arthritis

When it comes to managing psoriatic arthritis, sometimes all of the options can feel a bit overwhelming. Weighing the pros and cons of each choice makes the “list-maker” in me want to scream sometimes. I tend to thrive in situations that are neat and organized with a clear plan for the best possible outcome.

But when it comes to psoriatic arthritis, it doesn’t really work that way. Nevertheless, through the years I’ve done my best to fit managing my PsA into a neat little box. I call it the “4-Part Plan to Manage Psoriatic Arthritis.” (I feel like “Leanne’s Perfect Plan” might be a bit too egotistical- LOL!).

Part 1: Medication

For me, prescription medication of some sort has helped. I’ve gone on and off different biologics that have all helped to different degrees. But I’m also on DMARD’s and other anti-inflammatory medications that work well together to fight the advancement of inflammation and disease. Yes, some people have been able to manage their disease with diet and supplements alone, but I have found that I am not one of them.

Part 2: Diet

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but much to everyone’s chagrin, what you eat (and don’t eat) makes a difference when it comes to managing psoriatic arthritis. Our bodies simply overreact to many, scientifically proven, inflammatory foods. We’ve all had that “helpful” friend suggest that their mother’s-aunt’s-cousin’s-friend was “completely cured” when they went vegan.

That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that for some of us, dairy, gluten, sugar, and certain vegetables, simply fan the flames of a body that is already super-angry. Taking away inflammatory foods is like choking out the fire in one part of the body. It is a loooooong process and you have to be patient with yourself and your body, but it is a worthy effort and significant part of the plan.

Part 3: Exercise

Yes, I said it. Exercise. We don’t like to hear this any more than we like to have our beloved gluten taken away. However, there are many days when movement helps me. Even if it is slightly painful at the beginning. I begrudgingly make my legs move, flex my hips, and stretch my back (that is exercise folks!). And you know what, it actually helps.

Sure, flare days are a different story and I’m not suggesting anyone needs to run a marathon to get the benefits of exercise. However, we do need to get the blood flowing to our joints to “lube” them up. Plus, staying in one position too long is painful anyway. Might as well take that as a cue to get up and walk around a bit (again, that’s exercise!). Honestly, I swear by yoga. It has not only helped me manage some of my more difficult pain days, but it has also helped me change how I look at my body. Now I treat is as an ally instead of the enemy.

Part 4: Supplements and alternatives

Just like finding the right prescription medication takes time, so does finding the right supplementary or alternative health option to best suit your body. Some people swear by their chiropractor or naturopath. While others feel that turmeric or CBD made all the difference in the world for them.  Whatever alternative, complementary, or supplementary therapy you chose, find one that supports your body and your efforts to manage psoriatic arthritis.

I use this 4 part strategy to really organize my thoughts and efforts to manage my PsA. That way, I can keep everything in it’s neat, little box and if I make changes to any part of it, I can carefully monitor what worked and what didn’t. I make changes to one part at a time. Enough of life with this disease is outside our control, I like to maintain a little control over whatever I can.

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.