Psoriatic Arthritis and the Role of Physiotherapy

Psoriatic arthritis Brisbane

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting individuals with psoriasis. Characterised by joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, PsA can significantly impact daily life. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing these symptoms and improving quality of life.

Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Causes and Symptoms: PsA is an autoimmune disease causing joint inflammation. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, often accompanied by psoriasis (Ritchlin et al., 2017).
  • Impact on Daily Life: The condition can lead to reduced mobility, fatigue, and a decrease in overall quality of life (Gladman, 2018).

The Role of Physiotherapy in Managing Psoriatic Arthritis

  1. Pain Management
    • Techniques: Manual therapy and exercise prescription can help manage pain (Coates et al., 2016).
  2. Improving Mobility and Flexibility
    • Stretching: Regular stretching exercises to maintain joint flexibility.
    • Range of Motion Exercises: To improve and maintain joint mobility (McHugh & Silman, 2019).
  3. Strengthening Muscles
    • Strength Training: Targeted exercises to strengthen muscles around affected joints, providing better support and reducing strain (Smolen et al., 2016).
  4. Enhancing Cardiovascular Health
    • Aerobic Exercises: Low-impact aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling to improve cardiovascular health without putting excessive strain on the joints.
  5. Education and Self-Management
    • Patient Education: Teaching patients about their condition and how to manage symptoms effectively.
    • Self-Management Techniques: Guidance on lifestyle modifications, including ergonomics and activity pacing (Singh et al., 2018)
  6. Collaborating with Other Professionals
    • Multidisciplinary Approach: Working with rheumatologists, dermatologists, exercise physiologists and occupational therapists to provide comprehensive care and optimise treatment outcomes.


Physiotherapy is a vital component in managing psoriatic arthritis. Through tailored exercises, pain management techniques, and patient education, physiotherapists can help individuals with PsA maintain mobility, reduce pain, and improve their overall quality of life. At Trilogy Physiotherapy, we offer comprehensive physiotherapy services to support those living with psoriatic arthritis. If you would like to book in with one of our therapists click here now!


  • Coates, L. C., et al. (2016). Management of psoriatic arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology.
  • Gladman, D. D. (2018). Psoriatic arthritis: epidemiology, clinical features, course, and outcome. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
  • McHugh, N. J., & Silman, A. J. (2019). Clinical and epidemiological aspects of psoriatic arthritis. Rheumatology.
  • Ritchlin, C. T., et al. (2017). Psoriatic arthritis: clinical features and disease mechanisms. Nature Reviews Rheumatology.
  • Singh, J. A., et al. (2018). Guidelines for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis Care & Research.
  • Smolen, J. S., et al. (2016). Treating psoriatic arthritis to target: recommendations of an international task force. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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