Regular workouts that incorporate stretching can help keep joints healthy, while soothing the discomfort psoriatic arthritis can cause.
Our mini-workout is built around a rubber resistance band. The beauty of resistance bands is that they can help you stretch and strengthen at the same time. Bands should be at least 4 feet long; most people should select a medium-strength band.
The Position: Lie on your back with your legs straight. Place the band over the ball of your foot and extend your right leg up toward the ceiling.
Holding one end of the band in each hand, use it to slowly pull your leg toward your chest until the band is slightly taut.
The Move: Bend the knee of the leg you have extended. Slowly flex and point your foot several times. If your hamstrings (the muscles that run up the backs of your legs) are tight, they will get a stretch, too.
Then, keeping your leg bent, draw small circles in the air with your right foot, going clockwise six times and then counterclockwise six times. Repeat the series with your left leg.
Iliotibial (T-Band) Stretch
The Position: Lie on your back with your legs fully extended. Bring one knee to your chest and place the band over the ball of your foot. Extend your leg up toward the ceiling.
If you can keep your leg straight, do so, but feel free to bend your knee slightly if you need to. The opposite leg should remain on the floor, either straight or with the knee slightly bent.
The Move: Cross your right leg over the midline of your body toward the left wall. Hold the position parallel to the floor about hip-height, as you reach the right leg out as far as you can.
Make sure you are using your abdominal muscles to help support the weight of your leg. You will feel a stretch on the outside of your right leg.
Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds. Repeat the exercise with your left leg.
The Position: Place the band down on the middle of your mat. Lie on the mat, aligning your spine along the band. Leave about 6 inches of band sticking up behind your head.
The Move: Using both hands, grasp the end of the band that's above your head, making a hammock for your head to rest on. Inhale to prepare, and then exhale as you pull your navel in toward your spine and curl forward.
Slowly lower your head and shoulders back to the mat. Repeat 10-15 times. Do not allow your shoulder blades to move toward each other as you lift. Instead, keep your collarbones open as you move.
Avoid overusing your biceps to raise yourself—focus on lifting from your abdominal muscles.
Side Stretch & Strengthener
The Position: Place one end of the band on the floor, and step on it with your right foot. Grasp the other end of the band with your right hand.
The Move: Slowly lift your right arm straight up, causing the band to become increasingly taut. Keep your shoulders down (not up around your ears).
Holding the band with your right hand, slowly bend sideways to the left and, just as slowly, return to center.
Inhale as you bend to the side, and exhale as you return to the center. Do 5 reps, and then repeat on the left side.
Upper Back Opener & Triceps Strengthener
The Position: Hold the band behind your back, palms facing away from you and close together. Roll your shoulders back.
The Move: With arms straight, pull the band down and apart while slightly arching the upper back. Do 5 reps, then pause and repeat.