Taking warm showers in the morning may be a good way to ease arthritis pain.
To reduce symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, movement can be a big help. Stretching and being physically active helps loosen up stiff and painful joints. That means at night — when you’re most inactive — the joints may start to become stiff, swollen, and painful.
As a result, the mornings are often when psoriatic symptoms are most severe. This can make it tough to get up, get dressed, and prepare yourself for the day. Having a good morning routine may help reduce those unpleasant psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
What’s a good morning routine for psoriatic arthritis?
Including some or all of the following activities in your morning routine may help improve arthritis symptoms so you can start the day off right.
Stretching helps loosen up the joints, which can help with pain and stiffness. Consider including some stretches first thing in the morning. If you’re not sure what stretches could help, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist.
2. Take your time
Give yourself extra time in the morning. That way, you’ll have time for the various parts of your routine that help you feel better. Plus, you may need to move a little slowly if you’re feeling stiff, and it may be difficult to rush.
3. Take a warm shower
Warm water helps the inflammation in the joints. Many people with psoriatic arthritis find that warm showers or baths are a helpful part of their morning routine. (This is another reason why you may need to give yourself extra time in the morning.)
A similar option is using a heating pad or lying in a heated blanket for a few minutes. This might help if you prefer showering at night.
4. Use assistive devices
There are a number of assistive devices that can reduce the strain on the joints as you get ready. For example, using a shoe horn can help you put on your shoes in the morning if it hurts your knee to squat down. Using automatic can openers to prep your lunch can help if you have hand or wrist pain. There are even devices that help you pull up a zipper on clothing.
You can also reorganize your home to make it more arthritis-friendly. For example, put items that you regularly need on shelves that are easy to reach. Place your packed lunch at arm-level in the fridge. When you don’t have to reach high or bend over to get through the morning, it could be a big help.
What should I do if my morning pain is unbearable?
Having a good morning routine can really help you live a more normal life with psoriatic arthritis. If your routine doesn’t seem to help reduce your symptoms, talk to your doctor. Serious pain and stiffness might be a sign that your treatment isn’t working as well as it should, and you might benefit from changing to a different treatment.
The good news is that there are many options to treat psoriatic arthritis, so you don’t have to settle for a treatment that’s not helping you out. You and your doctor can work together to find the right fit for you.
Saakshi Khattri, MD, is a rheumatologist and assistant professor at the Department of Rheumatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
- Arthritis Foundation. (N.D.). Adapting your house when you have arthritis.
- Arthritis Foundation. (N.D.). Arthritis-friendly kitchen tools.
- Arthritis Foundation. (N.D.). Heat therapy helps relax stiff joints.
- Kessler, J., et al. (2021). Psoriatic arthritis and physical activity: a systematic review. Clinical Rheumatology.
- Krakowski, P., et al. (2019). Psoriatic arthritis — new perspectives. Archives of Medical Science.
- MedlinePlus. (2021). Making everyday tasks easier when you have arthritis.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. (2021). Psoriatic arthritis.
- UpToDate. (2021). Patient education: arthritis and exercise (beyond the basics).