Sufferers of psoriatic arthritis know that pain management is an important part of treatment. If you're struggling with psoriatic arthritis pain, and anti-inflammatory medications aren't doing enough, a multi-factored approach might help get it under control. The following supplemental treatments could help if added to your regular medical care.
Capsaicin is one of the active components that makes chili and cayenne peppers hot. It's also capable of decreasing what's known as "substance P," a neuropeptide that performs the function of transmitting pain signals to the brain. Capsaicin topical ointments are being used to treat a variety of painful conditions, including various forms of arthritis. There's also some indication that the heat from the capsaicin encourages the body's natural production of endorphins. Endorphins interact with your brain's opiate receptors and also reduce your perception of pain.
Psoriatic arthritis can cause your joints to stiffen up and the ligaments around your joints to become inflamed. Manual manipulation of your joints through chiropractic care can help restore your mobility and stretch the ligaments out so that they aren't as tight. Trigger-point therapy can also be used by chiropractors to apply pressure to some of your specific muscles in order to encourage those muscles to relax, reducing the pain that you feel in them. Some chiropractors also have ultrasound therapy equipment that they can use to treat arthritis–the sound waves can help increase blood flow, reduce swelling, and decrease the stiffness that you feel in your soft tissues and joints.
Turmeric is a spice, a relative of ginger, that's used frequently in curry recipes. It's bright yellow color comes from its active ingredient, curcumin, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. It also inhibits your body's production of an inflammatory molecule known as NFkB. Experts recommend that you ingest about 2 teaspoons (4 grams) of turmeric daily in order to get the best benefits. If you aren't a fan of the flavor and don't want to put it into your food, you can find turmeric capsules at many health food stores.
Since many people with psoriatic arthritis have difficulty with strenuous exercise, the gentle movements of yoga can be used to provide much of the same benefits. Yoga, which combines stretches with controlled breathing techniques, can help stretch your muscles and relieve pressure on your joints. Just 15 or 20 minutes of yoga a day may be enough to help relieve your pain, improve your mood, and enhance your sleep. You can seek out a professional to teach you some basic poses or explore one of the many guides available online or at bookstores.
As always, before you begin any sort of supplemental treatment for psoriatic arthritis, you should check with your primary care physician or rheumatologist to make sure that it is suitable for you. Contact a healthcare provider who offers neck pain services more more information.