Many people with psoriatic arthritis turn to alternative treatment methods to alleviate pain and reduce the frequency of flare-ups. Some are concerned with the side effects of conventional medications used for psoriatic arthritis treatment. While the immunosuppressants used to treat psoriatic arthritis are effective, they can reduce the ability of your immune system to fight disease.
Other people who have psoriatic arthritis find that it's still poorly controlled even with conventional treatment and are searching for complementary therapies to relieve their pain. Regardless of your reason for seeking alternative psoriatic arthritis treatment, read on for three alternative therapies that others have found useful to manage their symptoms.
1. Dietary Changes
Like many other autoimmune diseases, many people find that dietary changes help control their psoriatic arthritis symptoms. If you're mildly allergic to something you're eating, it may cause an immune response that causes your psoriatic arthritis symptoms to worsen.
The best way to use your diet as a psoriatic arthritis treatment is to experiment with dietary elimination. Common food allergens are wheat, tree nuts, soy, eggs and dairy. Remove an allergen from your diet for a period of six weeks and see if your psoriatic arthritis symptoms improve. If they do, that food may have been contributing to your symptoms.
Many people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis are under constant stress and anxiety wondering when their next flare-up will be. Worse, stress itself is often a trigger for a flare-up — it's a combination that can quickly lead to worsening symptoms.
Meditation is a safe way to help you relieve stress and manage it. As a psoriatic arthritis treatment, the reduction in stress can help you prevent future flare-ups and help you cope with the stress of psoriatic arthritis pain.
The easiest way to get started is to download a meditation app on your smartphone and set aside some time each day for quiet meditation. Even 15 minutes is enough time for a relaxing meditation session. Do your best to make it a daily habit.
Many people are frustrated when they begin meditating, as they become bored and their mind wanders. Meditation during a psoriatic arthritis flare-up can be even more difficult. That's okay — not every meditation session will be a relaxing or enjoyable one. Simply try to integrate daily meditation sessions into your routine as best you can so that you can see benefits.
3. CBD Oil
High-potency cannabidiol extract, also known as CBD oil, has been effective for some people in relieving psoriatic arthritis pain. CBD oil is one of the compounds found in cannabis, and it's often used to alleviate chronic pain.
The fact that CBD is found in cannabis makes many people think it's psychoactive like its related compound THC. However, it's not — in fact, CBD oil is extracted from large quantities of hemp plants rather than cannabis itself. It helps to relieve pain without giving you any sort of high or altering your judgment.
As a psoriatic arthritis treatment, CBD oil can either be ingested or it can be used topically as a gel — you rub the gel on areas where you're experiencing psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis pain. CBD oil also helps to reduce inflammation, so it can help prevent future flare-ups when you take it every day.
Finally, you should note that alternative psoriatic arthritis treatments should be used as a complement for conventional treatment instead of a replacement. You still need to work with your rheumatologist to find the right combinations of conventional medicines that work well for you.
Untreated psoriatic arthritis can result in permanent bone damage due to continual inflammation, so it's important to treat it aggressively using all of the methods available to you. Adding alternative psoriatic arthritis treatments to your conventional treatment regiment can help alleviate symptoms, reduce the frequency of flare-ups and help improve your quality of life. For more information about psoriatric arthritis treatments, speak with a doctor such as one at Sarasota Arthritis Center.