Arthritis comes in many different forms, and all of them can cause problems for our joints and soft tissues in a variety of ways. One of the more complex forms of arthritis is known as psoriatic arthritis, and it occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the joints, causing inflammation, stiffness and swelling.
Treating the underlying autoimmune issue is no easy task, but there are a number of easy ways to help reduce or eliminate some of the symptoms caused by psoriatic arthritis during a flare up. As you might have guessed, that treatment is physical therapy. In today’s blog, we explain how physical therapy can be a perfect treatment option for managing psoriatic arthritis.
PT For Psoriatic Arthritis
A number of different physical therapy techniques will help to calm or alleviate some of the issues caused by psoriatic arthritis. However, physical therapy may not be the only technique you need, because it may not be able to address the underlying autoimmune disorder. Your doctor and your physical therapist can help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan, but for the symptoms you’re experiencing as a result of psoriatic arthritis, physical therapy can be the right solution. Here’s how:
- Strength Training – Strength training can help to ensure the muscles and soft tissues that support your joints are strong and provide adequate stability. If these structures are weak, your joint may have to handle more stress, which can contribute to degeneration and inflammation.
- Stretching – As we mentioned above, one of the symptoms associated with psoriatic arthritis is decreased range of motion in the joint as a result of inflammation and stiffness. Stretching is a great way to help expand your natural range of motion and combat joint stiffness.
- Swelling And Fluid Control – Your physical therapist can help show you some movement or manual therapies to help improve fluid movement out of the joints in the event that psoriatic arthritis is causing prolonged swelling. They can also talk to you about the benefits of regular icing or cryotherapy to constrict blood vessels and limit fluid pooling in and around the joints.
- Splinting And Custom Orthotic Fitting – Prolonged joint inflammation and swelling can lead to significant joint deterioration, which can actually cause a deformity. A physical therapist can help fit you with a brace, splint or custom orthotic to change how pressure is dispersed on your joints to help slow or stop degeneration that could lead to more serious joint deformities.
- Optimal Movements And Energy Conservation – Finally, a physical therapist can take a look at your movement patterns and your lifestyle habits and make some small adjustments so that your movements help to protect your joints instead of putting excess pressure on them. You may find that you have more energy and less pain by moving more efficiently in the face of a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis.
Psoriatic arthritis can make life uncomfortable, but you can fight back against this condition by connecting with a physical therapist. For more information, or to talk to a physical therapist who can help with your joint discomfort, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.