For those lucky enough not to know, psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that appears in some who have the skin condition psoriasis. It makes moving incredibly difficult due to joint pain, stiffness and swelling, which naturally gets in the way of your job, your off time, your life. One very effective coping strategy involves some gentle, targeted stretches you can do to relieve psoriatic arthritis pain and help to increase your flexibility, make day-to-day activities more possible. Stretching provides localized action of the muscles, no pounding, just an increase in blood flow to the muscle.
In the absence of a cure, controlling symptoms and keeping joints from being damaged is key. Here’s where stretching can be so valuable. The stretches that work best are ones that make it easier for you to do daily tasks, and will vary for you depending on the joints affected. Most who have psoriatic arthritis do best by focusing on two or three exercises that are most relevant to them. That’s why; before you start using these stretches, talk with your own doctor or therapist to be sure what’s right for you.
Other precautions as you stretch:
-Always protect your back
-If you feel back pain, or discomfort, stop
-Don’t be too forceful with stretching
-Feel the stretch, never pain
As you get more comfortable with stretching, you may be able to hold one for 6 to 10 seconds at a time. But not at first, go slow, go carefully for best results.
Here are a few stretches to consider…
Neck roll is great for neck and shoulder pain. This stretch involves sitting straight in a chair that supports your lower back and looking straight ahead. Gently tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder, feeling a light stretch on the left side of the neck. Hold this for 2 seconds and then slowly return your head to the center. Repeat this stretch five times on the right, five on the left.
Knee to chest helps to ease hip pain. Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground, flat. Slowly pull your right knee to your chest, using light pressure with one or both hands. Feel the stretch in your hip and the back of the leg. Release slowly and then switch legs.
Knee leg extension is great for easing knee pain because it works the muscles that support your knee. Sit in a supportive chair and put your feet flat on the ground. Take 2 seconds to raise and slowly extend the lower part of your right leg, trying to create a straight line from your hip to your toe. Don’t keep your leg totally straight if this brings pain. Take two seconds to lower the right leg, repeat this stretch a total of 20 times on one side before switching sides.
Arch stretch is perfect if psoriatic arthritis has affected your feet and made walking or standing harder. Holding your right foot flat on the ground, press your toes down into the floor and try to lift up that arch for two seconds, take two more seconds to lower it back to the ground. Repeat this up to 20 times on each foot.
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Psoriatic Arthritis Pain: 8 tips To Help Continued…
Ankle rotation will help you hold onto range of motion. Here’s what you do… while sitting, point your foot and make small, invisible circles using just your big toe. Do five circles slowly clockwise and then five more counterclockwise. Flex and point your toes to give them a bit of a stretch and be sure to rotate the other ankle for the same amount of times.
Open/Close hand stretch is an ideal way to keep your hands from getting stiff, especially if you work on a keyboard frequently. Rest your elbow on a table, raise your lower arm to a 90-degree angle and make a fist. Open all the fingers to a count of two, then slowly close them back into the fist again. Repeat 20 times on each hand.
Finger lift is another simple, do anywhere stretch for the hand. Place your forearm on a table with your palm down, fingers open. Slowly lift and lower each finger of that hand, taking a count of two to raise and another two count to lower it. Now repeat this on the other hand.
Thumb/Finger touch is another super easy and an excellent way to build strength and flexibility in your hand. Slowly try to touch each fingertip to the thumb tip in order. Don’t force this if it’s painful, but try to get the fingers closer to each other every time you do this.
To your good health,