Psoriatic arthritis: what it is, what are its causes and how physical exercise can help

On previous occasions we have talked about psoriasis, a chronic pathology of the skin that affects more than one and a half million people in Spain. Among the diseases or complications associated with this pathology is psoriatic arthritis: a chronic inflammatory disease that affects between 10 and 30% of those affected by psoriasis.Currently psoriatic arthritis has no cure, but with the right treatment (which includes a healthy lifestyle in which healthy diet and physical activity are very beneficial) and an early diagnosis, the quality of life of the patient can improve a lot.

Psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis

We tell you everything you need to know about psoriatic arthritis to understand this disease, and how movement and physical activity are the great allies in its treatment.Psoriatic arthritis, as we said, is a chronic disease that can appear in patients with psoriasis, which involves inflammation of the joints and can become incapacitating if it is not treated correctly or if the treatment is delayed. time.

Psoriatic arthritis has an equal incidence in men and women (50% -50%) and has a series of associated comorbidities: patients with psoriatic arthritis may have twice the risk of cardiovascular disease and have an increased risk of suffer from hypertension and hyperlipidemia (elevated levels of lipids in the blood). In fact, one of the most important causes of death in patients with psoriatic arthritis is cardiovascular disease.

Psoriatic arthritis usually appears after psoriasis appears, although in some cases they may appear at the same time. Unlike other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis usually begins only in one joint and spreads. This has its good side, because it does not have an explosive start, but also its bad part because often, being only an articulation, it is not given the importance it deserves and this makes the treatment begin later.

physical exercise
physical exercise

Early diagnosis is key in the case of psoriatic arthritis because, as we have said, it can become a disabling pathology and the chances of this happening multiply if the treatment is delayed in time. To be able to make an accurate diagnosis, the joint work of all the professionals involved in the detection and treatment of this pathology is required: dermatologists, rheumatologists and general practitioners. Psoriatic arthritis is a pathology that can affect the quality of life of the patient, that it must accept a new reality in its day to day: more than 60% of the patients affirm that it is a pathology that makes it more difficult to relate to their environment and to their co-workers. The time to make the disease visible to different groups can be difficult, especially due to ignorance of it.

It is important that patients with psoriatic arthritis follow the treatment prescribed by their doctor: although it is a chronic disease and for which there is no cure at present, there are effective treatments that can reduce the discomfort and improve the quality of life of the patients, which is the purpose of the treatment.

In this context, both physical exercise and daily physical activity are of great importance. Last week we were able to attend the event ‘Move beyond psoriatic arthritis’, organized by the association Psoriasis Action, the National Arthritis Coordinator (Conartritis) and Lilly, where the importance of physical exercise, specifically of body-mind activities such as yoga, was emphasized, to improve the quality of life of psoriatic arthritis patients.

In the context of psoriatic arthritis, physical exercise is an important component of the overall treatment, as it can help improve joint stiffness caused by arthritis and increase your range of mobility. Yoga can help us both to improve our mobility and to relax and get away from daily stress, thus increasing our quality of life.Obviously, neither Yoga nor another type of exercise or body-mind activity by itself can cure this or any disease, but they can play in favor of improving the quality of life of patients who suffer.

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