Over 125 million people suffer from psoriasis. This condition can cause painful skin patches that make it hard for you to live life normally. Psoriasis is not curable but is controllable and no single approach works for everyone.

Therapy is individually tailored and depends on your overall health, presence of joint pain, and severity of skin involvement. Mild-to-moderate psoriasis can generally be treated at home using a combination of strategies so if you’re on the search for a natural way to heal your psoriasis, chiropractic care might be something to consider. Below you’ll find more information about how it can assist with treating psoriasis.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition that causes your skin cells to produce thick, dry patches. In normal skin, skin cells live for about 28 days and then are shed from the outermost layer of the skin. With psoriasis, the immune system sends a faulty signal which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. Skin cells mature in a matter of 3 to 6 days. The pace is so rapid that the body is unable to shed the dead cells, and patches of raised red skin covered by scaly, white flakes form on the skin.

While it’s not known why this happens, it’s believed to be caused by a malfunction in the immune system. If not treated, it will continue to spread and cause more intense symptoms, like itchiness and red spots. While psoriasis mainly affects your skin, it can also occur on your nails. This is because it spreads an infection into the nails causing them to become rigged, change colors, or separate from the nail bed. 

Psoriasis Symptoms

The most common form of the disease, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with an accumulation of white dead skin cells. It is a chronic skin disorder characterized by raised lesions with silvery scale that most often occur on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. It can range from a very mild, hardly noticeable rash to a severe eruption that covers large areas of the body. There are many symptoms that psoriasis can cause. 

  • Joint pain
  • Dry skin
  • Red patches 
  • Itchiness
  • Ridged nails

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a holistic form of medicine that works to treat musculoskeletal conditions. The musculoskeletal system is made up of your bones, joints, tissues, ligaments, and cartilage. A chiropractor adjusts these areas with the understanding that all of them are interconnected. Because of this, chiropractic care can assist with many bodily ailments and pain. Most chiropractors will use various types of adjustments for pain relief. Some of the most frequently used include:

  • Flexion distraction
  • Direct thrust
  • Thompson technique
  • Gonstead technique

A handful will also incorporate certain tools into the adjustments to ensure the treatments work well, like activators, cold lasers, ultrasounds, or a TENS machine. These will help your chiropractor to get deeper into your bones, joints, and muscles to provide relief. 

5 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Treat Psoriasis

Boosts Your Immune System

One of the benefits of going to a chiropractor is that it can boost your immune system, something that can be very beneficial in treating psoriasis. It’s able to do this because it communicates with the nervous system which connects to your immune system. By altering your nervous system, it will encourage both it and your immune system to stay healthy. It will also reduce stress and tension in the body which can wear down your immune system. 

To do this, a chiropractor will adjust your spinal cord. This will keep all of its components in place while ensuring that there isn’t pressure on surrounding nerves. A chiropractor will apply force to certain portions and move them in specific ways to make sure they are in place. This will help your immune system to function normally again. 

Calms Stress

Psoriasis can cause a lot of stress. This can make you feel fatigued and cause your body to not work correctly because it’s overwhelmed. Anything that can promote stress relief may be helpful at preventing and controlling flare-ups as stress can be a major contributor to the worsening of the skin disease. Chiropractic adjustments reduce tension and encourage the release of endorphins, a natural painkiller. Because of this, after a chiropractic treatment, you’ll find yourself more energized. To help ensure the adjustments work well, a chiropractor might also recommend adding a few stress-relieving items to your diet. Some of these include:

  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Carrots
  • Herbal tea
  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Strawberries

These won’t only calm your body, but can help it fight against many psoriasis symptoms. 

Incorporates Massage Therapy

If you suffer from psoriasis you’re more than likely in a lot of pain. Chiropractic care uses massage therapy to reduce stress and inflammation. It can also improve blood circulation. You’ll find that a massage also releases large amounts of endorphins. This can help provide you with quick relief from your psoriasis symptoms. 

One type of massage that might be done is the Swedish massage. This type uses gliding motions to provide relief to the body. It will also increase blood flow and energize your immune system, both of which can calm psoriasis symptoms. 

A massage therapist might also recommend trying a reflexology massage. This massage focuses on specific pressure points around your body. By pressing on them, it’s believed to help your nervous system function correctly. Many of these points also connect to vital organs. By massaging them, it can encourage the organs to stay healthy. 

Most of the time massage therapy is safe for psoriasis sufferers. However, if you’re concerned about it, talk with your doctor beforehand. 

Improves Blood Flow

Psoriasis can hinder blood circulation because it increases inflammation. This can cause your arteries to become narrow making it harder for your vital organs to receive blood. 

Chiropractic care can improve blood flow by ensuring your skeletal system is aligned. A chiropractor will feel up and down your spine to make sure there aren’t any subluxations. If there are, they will quickly fix them. This will open up your arteries and encourage proper blood circulation. These adjustments will also increase oxygen to your brain which ensures it receives enough nutrients. 

Prevents Joint Pain and Stiffness

A common side effect of psoriasis is joint pain and stiffness. In fact, sometimes psoriasis can result in arthritis. This not only affects the skin around your joints but can make your joints deteriorate. This can cause pain, swelling, and numbness in the area. Chiropractic adjustments will reduce inflammation by improving blood circulation in the affected spot. In addition to this, it will make your joints more flexible which can help you get around easier. 

After treatment, a chiropractor will usually give you some exercises to do at home. These are simple yet effective at ensuring your joints continue to heal. Some they might recommend you do include swimming, walking, or biking. A few might also suggest yoga. This will help keep your joints flexible and even provide natural pain relief. It can also prevent the spread of psoriatic arthritis to surrounding joints. 

Psoriasis is a difficult ailment to deal with, but along with a visit to your dermatologist, chiropractic care can complement your treatment plan. By using it consistently, you may find that psoriasis symptoms subside and prevent new flare-ups from happening. If you have questions about whether chiropractic care is right for you or someone you know, please contact a chiropractor near you.

Meet Guest Contributor: Dr. Brent Wells. D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. Besides spinal adjustment, his clinic has treated thousands of Anchorage and Juneau patients through physical therapy designed to provide long-lasting relief. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.