So, what is the best treatment for psoriatic arthritis using natural ingredients and alternatives? Is it even possible? Let’s take a closer look.
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the joints and skin. This disease is progressive, worsening over time. If not treated, psoriatic arthritis may cause permanent joint damage.
This form of arthritis primarily affects people with psoriasis or people with a family history of psoriasis.
People with psoriatic arthritis often have joint pain and swelling combined with red, itchy, swollen patches of skin covered with silver scales typical of psoriasis.
Its progression can be reduced with traditional therapies, and symptoms can be alleviated. Alternative remedies can complement these therapies and can help people feel more in control of the disease.
What is the best treatment for psoriatic arthritis? Let’s start by trying out the following:
Apple cider vinegar
One of the reasons why apple cider vinegar gets many buzzes is because it is believed to be a miracle panacea. When treating PA, people may find it helpful if applied to psoriasis patches on the scalp.
However, this should be avoided if the areas are cracked and bleeding.
Tea tree oil
This essential oil can alleviate skin inflammation caused by PA. However, science is cautious about recommending this as a treatment, which can aggravate more sensitive skin.
You may want to read: Psoriasis causes and treatment: A complete guide
Adding oatmeal to a bath or using it as a paste can help relieve itchy patches of psoriasis. While there is little scientific evidence supporting oatmeal as a treatment for psoriasis, oatmeal is prized in folk medicine as one of nature’s best skin pacifiers.
A trendy food, turmeric, is prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that turmeric can alter gene expression, alleviating the symptoms of PA. People can freely add this spice to their food or take a turmeric supplement.
This is what makes chili peppers hot and can help block pain receptors. Some research has found that when used in over-the-counter creams, capsaicin can also reduce symptoms of psoriasis.
A soothing balm from an aloe vera plant can provide cooling comfort for irritated patches of psoriatic skin.
However, aloe vera should only be used topically and should never be ingested. Taking it orally may be dangerous.
Warm baths with Epsom salts can help reduce joint pain and inflammation. Epsom salts contain magnesium, a mineral that increases bone health and can calm itchy skin.
Some studies suggest that applying Oregon grape creams (Mahonia aquifolium) can relieve skin irritation from psoriasis. Like aloe vera, Oregon grapes should only be used topically.
Joint pain can be reduced with fish oil. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil help block inflammation and ease painful swelling.
Ginger root is well known in folk medicine for having many anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown that taking ginger three times a day can reduce knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Keep in mind that these remedies are not a substitute for prescribed treatments. Always consult with your doctor before taking any actions in regards to your health.
Alternative therapies for psoriatic arthritis include the following:
- Massage therapy. A massage therapist trained to treat PA can help alleviate joint discomfort and release tight muscles and joints. This massage can provide significant relief from arthritis-related discomfort
- Acupuncture. This technique involves inserting needles at various pressure points to relieve chronic pain. No study shows its utility for PA, but some patients have found it useful
- Acupressure involves putting pressure on different points of the body to reduce pain and pressure, stimulate the immune system and release tension
These therapies should not replace traditional PA treatments but may provide some additional relief and improve life quality.
Natural treatment for psoriatic arthritis: Diet-Based
Improving your eating habits will not cure PA, but it will definitely promote good health and well-being. People with PA should strive to maintain a healthy state and be vigilant about their diet.
Follow these tips for healthy eating:
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Get protein through lean meat, beans and legumes
- Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products
- Avoid refined sugars and bad carbohydrates like processed white bread and pasta
- Get whole grains when possible
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day
Anyone with PA can benefit from keeping a food journal and planning healthy meals.
Lifestyle tips when treating psoriatic arthritis
PA symptoms often flare up during periods of stress or fatigue. It can help change to a lifestyle with very little stress since stress is associated with increased inflammation.
Doing so also helps people get enough sleep so that the body can heal itself.
You may want to read: A guided meditation for anxiety: Recover your well-being in 7 days
The following tips may help:
- Relax. Using aromatherapy, breathing techniques, and journaling can help manage stress and promote relaxation
- Get gentle exercise. Exercise is recommended for people with PA. They may find yoga and tai chi particularly useful in helping to loosen stiff joints and relieve stress
- Meditate. Meditation can result in a deeper level of relaxation that can help alleviate stress, thus helping to prevent or control PA symptoms
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is crucial for swelling and promoting good health.
- Hydrotherapy. A warm bath can relax the joints and ease the pain and swelling associated with PA. SPA therapies can also promote relaxation and decrease stress
- Practice mindfulness. Be aware all around your body and know how you feel. It also involves being aware of any situation that may cause unnecessary stress
An increased sense of physical awareness can help people detect an outbreak of symptoms early on. This way, it can be managed before it gets worse.
By combining lifestyle remedies with other treatment forms, people can improve their life quality with more relief. Nevertheless, remedies and therapies are not a substitute for traditional medical treatments.
The symptoms of PA include those of arthritis and psoriasis. Symptoms can vary from person to person and include a combination of the following:
- Swollen fingers and toes
- Back pain
- Foot pain
- Patches of red, itchy, inflamed skin covered with silver scales
- Joint pain
- The joints become red or warm to the touch
Most of the time, people with PA will notice flare periods and remissions. During the eruptions, the symptoms will worsen noticeably. During remissions, symptoms will decrease or even disappear.
When to see a doctor
Anyone experiencing PA symptoms should see a Doctor for a diagnosis and, if needed, start treatment. Since the disease is progressive, starting treatment early is crucial.
People who already have PA should regularly see a doctor and speak to one before starting or changing treatments. This includes any natural or alternative remedy.
Anyone with psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis should be regularly screened for PA by a physician.
Some natural remedies may interact with prescription medications or may not be recommended for pregnant or lactating women.