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Ways to Overcome Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue

Here are five strategies to help fight the fatigue from psoriatic arthritis.

Ways to Overcome Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue

While psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a fairly well-known condition, the fatigue that’s so common among people with the condition is much less understood. 

Healthcare providers and researchers believe that inflammation caused by the body attacking its own tissues and cells may contribute to this overall feeling of tiredness. And side effects from medication, lack of sleep and the emotional toil of the condition could also play a role. 

Regardless of the reason, if you experience PsA fatigue, you understand all too well the debilitating effects of frequently feeling worn down and exhausted. 

Fighting fatigue from psoriatic arthritis 
While there’s no proven medical treatment to stop or prevent PsA-related fatigue, there are things you can do to put some extra pep in your step: 

  • Make sleep a priority. Sleep problems exacerbate fatigue, and the pain and discomfort from PsA may make falling asleep more difficult. So what can you do to get some rest? Make sure your bedroom is set up for sleeping. Keep the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees and stay away from screens as you’re dozing off. Also, aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and night, including on the weekends, to keep your body on a consistent sleep schedule. You could also create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes taking a soothing bath, reading a book (that’s not on a tablet) or practicing meditation.  
  • Make time for exercise. Your PsA can make it hard to want to get up and get moving, but light exercise can greatly reduce your psoriatic arthritis fatigue and pain, while boosting your energy. Low-impact workouts such as swimming, walking and yoga help reduce joint pain and stiffness, and when combined with safe stretching techniques, they can also increase flexibility. Exercise also helps you manage stress and makes it easier to relax—all things that help reduce fatigue and improve the overall quality of your sleep. 
  • Skip out on cigarettes and alcohol. These bad habits can make it hard to manage that worn-down feeling associated with psoriatic arthritis-related fatigue. Alcohol is a known trigger of PsA flare-ups, aggravating inflammation and making pain worse. It also interferes with deep sleep, so you feel less refreshed the next day. Cigarettes exacerbate joint damage, inflammation and pain, and also act as a stimulant, keeping you awake and causing you to get less restful sleep. Plus, the lung damage from cigarettes causes oxygen and energy levels to drop. 
  • Don’t over-schedule your day. Constantly running yourself ragged trying to meet your daily demands can wear you out and make your PsA symptoms worse. Prioritize your day to tackle only the most important things, and make sure to give yourself time to rest and recover. 
  • Talk to your healthcare provider. If you’re feeling consistently fatigued, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. He or she may be able to adjust your medication or do additional testing to determine if you’re dealing with an underlying health condition.  

Medically reviewed in January 2020. Updated in March 2021. 

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