I have had psa for many years but have only tried herbs but no prescription medications. Obviously I have not found a "cure". I use Bag Balm on the flaking on my sides and back which helps some. I quit drinking alcohol recently and am having much more pain in all of my joints, mostly at night. I try to avoid prescription meds because I don't want the side effects. All of the prescription meds appear to effect ones ability to resist infections etc. But I need more help with the joint pain now and would like some ideas. Thank you
Welcome to our group. This is a really good group of people and you will find lots of support and ears to bend here. For future reference, post questions under the “discussion” tab. Most folks don’t look for questions in the blog posts, so you may want to copy and paste your question under the “discussion” tab so that more people can respond to you.
Have you been seen by a rheumatologist or dermatologist and been diagnosed with PsA? Do you have psoriasis as well? Do you have a good primary care doctor and have health insurance? I ask these questions in order to better help you. If you have never had this problem seen to by a doc for this, that is the first place to start. Depending on what the primary says, you will most likely be referred to rheumatology and possibly dermatology to get some relief for your skin too. If you have never been diagnosed with PsA or inflammatory arthritis (actually, even if you have). The rheum will want labs, to examine you, and maybe get some X-rays. This is to confirm that you have an inflammatory arthritis and initiate drug therapy to treat it. During this time, expect to need more appointments with the doc than you are used to.
Fear of side effects is very common among new sufferers. Many people are more afraid of the medication side effects than they are the permanent, unrelenting, painful, and eventually crippling effects of PsA. For me, PsA is much more frightening than side effects that may or may not happen. The problem with PsA, is that unless a person is taking prescription medications that slow or halt disease progression, he/she WILL develop significant joint damage. This is a chronic progressive disease, and it requires medication to manage it. I’m not just talking about pain, but actual damage and deformity to the joints that is either irreparable or requires surgery to correct. Loss of mobility, range of motion, loss of function, secondary nerve damage, fatigue, and pain are some of the isssues that are faced by folks who opt to do without the drugs. To me, that is very frightening. This disease is a game changer to be certain. I have been dealing with an epic flare since October. My rheum, primary and I have been working to get the meds just right, but during that time, I have been unable to work for 14 weeks, and have been feeling pretty rotten. As recently as two weeks ago, things started to take a different turn and I am feeling so much better. I am grateful for the drugs that I take, scary side effects and all. I’m actually going back to work on Monday!
I have been on biologics for about 2 years or so. (First Humira, then I developed antibodies to the drug and switched to Remicade infusions that are working well now) I have not been sick more than I usually am, nor have I had a problem with prolonged illness related to the biologic meds that I have taken. Is there a risk for infection? Absolutely, however, for your typical otherwise healthy individual, most just experience more frequent colds that last a little longer. There are some nasty side effects that could happen, but I am willing to risk living a satisfying life with as little pain as possible over being progressively miserable. Okay. That was my speech
In the meantime, there are some things that can help with painful symptoms of both P and PsA.
Home treatments for P
-Sea salt baths
-Shower oils like Neutrogena applied to wet skin after bathing.
-Don’t rub your skin dry, pat dry only
-Don’t shower in hot water.
-Vitamin D supplement (check with doc first, you may be able to get it as a Rx)
-Apply thick cream to hands and feet before bed and apply cotton socks and gloves. Wash your cotton items at least once a week with bleach. I like Eucerin cream or the generic for this.
-After bathing, oiling and drying each day, apply eucerin to feet, hands, elbows and knees, apply a really good lotion to the rest of your body. I like Renew lotion. It is available on Amazon. It is expensive, but I love it. It’s not greasy and it doesn’t wash off easily. Reapply lotion after each hand washing.
-Coal tar and salicytic acid shampoo and soap can help quite a bit. Stinks to high heaven, but it can reduce the scaling better than any OTC I have ever used.
-Wear all cotton clothing that fits well to inhibit chaffing.
-Run a humidifier in your home when you run the heat, or boil large pot of water.
Or you could see a dermatologist. There are some great topical ointments and shampoos that help sooooo much. I still recommend doing some or all of the above even with medications, Especially if your skin is really in bad shape.
Home treatments for PsA
-Clay heating pads. These are great. They are very moldible, and I like them for my knees. They are heavier than a typical pad and the heat combined with the weight feels so good.i always stick a few pillows or a bolster under my calves to help get me into a comfy position.
-Heating blankets, throws, or mattress pads. Keeping warm helps keep you moving. I have a heated throw for my sofa and a large blanket for the bed. Some folks lurve their mattress pads too. Just don’t use it and a heated blanket at the same time.
-Memory foam mattress pad
-ThermalOn Moist Heat Pads. These are microwaveable, reusable, and portable. The cove with straps to tie them on. I have one for my lower back and one for my neck. Love these things to pieces.
-Get up and move. Even when it hurts, you gotta move, even if it’s just a few steps and some stretching.
-NSAIDs can provide pain relief if you are able to take them. Try ibuprofen, if that doesn’t work try Aleve, if that doesn’t work there are a number of them available by Rx.
-You can also try supplements like MoveFree or Glucosamine, chondroitin, Sam-E, etc… I have tried all of these, but I don’t think they helped me too much.
-if your skin is under control, warm to hot baths are a life saver.
-Also, gentle activity in a heated pool feels really good to. Make sure your skin is in pretty good condition to do this, it can really cause problems with P if it’s not.
I hope this gigantic response helps you out some. Message me if you need an ear!