May 27, 2008

Alternative Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

As a person with psoriatic arthritis may experience the complications from arthritis as well as psoriasis, the treatment is meant for both the symptoms. Generally, it is a combination of medications, exercise, different therapies and some self-care measures. The treatment for psoriatic arthritis is aimed to reduce the joint pain and manage the symptoms.

The commonly used medications are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, COX-2 inhibitors, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, immunosuppressant medications, tumor necrosis factor blockers and corticosteroids. These medications reduce the joint inflammation and prevent further damage. Since these medications may have some side-effects, some alternative therapies are recommended for the treatment for psoriatic arthritis.

Phototherapy is one of the best options for the psoriatic arthritis treatment which involves a use of natural or artificial light. The easiest and simplest form of phototherapy is an exposure to moderate amount of natural sunlight. Use of broadband ultraviolet B (UVB) light alone or combined with coal tar is another traditional form of this therapy. In addition to this, psoralen UVA (PUVA) therapy is more aggressive treatment in which the patient has to take a light-sensitizing medication (psoralen) prior to exposure to ultraviolet A light which effectively suppresses the growth of skin cells in severe psoriasis. Besides this, narrow-band UVB (NBUVB) is a newer form of phototherapy which doesn’t require the oral medications before exposure to light.

Physical activity plays a significant role in the treatment of many forms of arthritis including psoriatic arthritis. Exercise can help to maintain the muscle strength, improve joint flexibility and mobility, decrease pain and in addition to that, it also helps to improve sleep and maintain a healthy weight.

The physiotherapy program includes the range-of-motion exercises to increase flexibility and relieve stiffness, strengthening exercises to increase the muscle strength, water exercises to relieve pain and for muscle relaxation and recreational exercises such as swimming, walking or biking to combat depression, relieve pain and improve your overall health.

Besides these therapies, there are some other therapies for the treatment for psoriatic arthritis such as splints, heat treatments, massage, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and biofeedback. The splints can help to relieve pain and maintain the joints at their normal positions and they are used on wrist, knee and finger joints. Besides this, heat treatment is helpful to ease pain, increase blood flow and relax painful muscles. Massage is another advantageous treatment to improve the blood circulation, reduce pain and decrease swelling.