Water therapy (hydrotherapy or aqua therapy) is a program of exercises performed in a large pool. Water therapy may be easier on painful joints from psoriatic arthritis because the water takes some of the weight off the affected areas. Appropriate recreational exercise also may be beneficial, but only if it is preceded by a program of range-of-motion, strength, and aerobic exercises to reduce the chance of injury. Regardless of the exercise program you select, it's important to choose one you enjoy so that you maintain it.
Before beginning any new exercise program, discuss exercise options with your doctor. Also, begin new exercise programs under the supervision of a physical therapist or qualified professional, preferably one who has experience working with psoriatic arthritis patients. Furthermore, it's important to know that improper exercise programs may worsen psoriatic arthritis. Check with your doctor or therapist before starting an exercise program and adjust your program if you experience any of the following:
- Unusual or persistent fatigue.
- Increased weakness.
- Decreased range of motion.
- Increased joint swelling.
- Continuing pain (lasting more than an hour after exercising).
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