We’ve carefully selected these blogs because the writers are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information. If you would like to tell us about a blog, nominate them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes painful inflammation of the joints. The hands/wrists and feet are the most often affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it affects 1.5 million adults in the United States alone.
The condition can be difficult to treat, sometimes requiring a combination of prescription treatments and lifestyle changes in order to prevent joint damage. That’s why it can be helpful to learn from someone who has experienced RA — like these award-winning bloggers — whether as a patient, a caregiver, or a medical expert.
When your joints hurt and your body aches, as is the case with RA, you want comfort, like a warm pair of socks. This blogger’s socks help treat the pain of RA and of Raynaud’s, an autoimmune blood vessel dysfunction that sometimes co-occurs with RA. The infinity symbol in the blog’s name is a reference to RA’s state of constant inflammation. Check in here regularly to learn about RA and its long-term effects. There are plenty of helpful, practical tips, too.
All Flared Up
On All Flared Up, find the inspiration you need to not let RA put a cap on the activities you want to take part in. Blogger Amanda writes about how RA has taught her to truly understand her body and how it works, such as how using your body to limit joint pain can transfer stress to your muscles. Instead of focusing on pre-RA goals, like the distance you can run, she advises thinking about the process, step by step.
Pain in the hands, feet, and ribs caused Arthritic Chick years’ worth of suffering before the problem was finally diagnosed as RA. On her blog, she tells it like it is, without sugar coating the issues. She shares the good days, when she feels grateful for the medication and determination she uses to manage her disease. And she shares her bad days, when she is hurt and angry at what this illness has stolen from her. If you are fighting the demons of RA, you will appreciate the strength you can gain from the voice of her experience.
Connect on Twitter: @ArthriticChick
An Attitude of Gratitude
If you happen across An Attitude of Gratitude, you probably won’t be able to guess that author Julie Faulds is fighting chronic pain. The easygoing blog gives us a peek into the world she shares with her husband, children, a thunder-phobic dog — and, almost incidentally, her RA and fibromyalgia. Faulds chooses to see the world through the eyes of appreciation. Her bad days stand to make her good days better and brighter. One recent post turns illness upside down by suggesting that, rather than giving into illness and collapsing in your pajamas, you could think of your downtime as a “spa day.” Julie can’t make life pain-free, but she can help us see the humor in the real world around us.
Connect on Twitter: @CharmedOne1
RA interferes with daily life in many ways. Sometimes it’s the aches and pains, which put limits on your mobility. Other interferences, such as surgery and managing disability claims, can take up an enormous chunk of time. Blogger Carla Kienast’s RA journey has included knee, hip, and back surgery. Her insightful posts cover everything from the latest CDC guidelines, to musings on how her 12 doctors each have just a glimpse of her whole self, through the lens of each of her individual health issues.
A Figment of Fitness
RA is a “forever” condition, and forever can certainly feel like an eternity when your body is constantly aching. That’s what makes it all the more amazing that April Wells — software professional and mother of two — refuses to hold still and let her disease catch up with her. Not only has she completed five half-marathons, but she gets through the marathon of blogging about RA with a great deal of compassion for those around her.
From This Point. Foward.
When you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness like RA, it can take a great presence of mind to start thinking “from this point forward.” The temptation to yearn for the past, or to wish for things to be different, is strong. Mariah Leach’s blog posts are a regular tribute to the reminder to think forward, and to not get stuck, no matter how physically and emotionally draining your diagnosis might be. Check out her Facing Forward series of profiles on people living well with RA.
Connect on Twitter: @MariahForward
The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo
This blog is the brainchild of author, educator, and mother Cathy Kramer. When Kramer began her unwanted adventure with RA, she set out to learn all she could. Her zest for life is evident, from her bike rides to her work teaching English language courses. With her empathy, honesty, and helpful advice, you can’t read this blog without gaining a new perspective and a greater focus on living life to the fullest.
Connect on Twitter: @cateepoo88
Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
One of the most frustrating things about RA is how precisely individual the disease is. Where a prescription medication could put one patient’s RA into remission, it might make another’s condition worse. Blogger Andrew is determined to live life as fully as possible with the disease, even though his treatment has been exceedingly difficult. Andrew never loses hope, and covers each new treatment — including recent surgical approaches — with a writer’s skill and a scientist’s mind. If you have RA or care for someone who does, this is the place to read about the personal impact of the condition and its treatment.
Connect on Twitter: @livingwra
Living with RA
If you suffer from RA, you know the importance of living your life to the fullest while maintaining a positive outlook. Nan Hart understands this all too well, and has been giving voice to the questions and concerns that come with RA for more than five years. Nan finds the light on the darkest of days, and her posts focus on the positives — like finding a medication or therapy that works — more often than the negatives, so that readers coming to her blog leave with hope.
Mom’s Small Victories
Women around the globe know the challenges of being a wife and a mother while trying to balance their own personal growth. It is a tough job, to say the least. That challenge becomes monumental when you have RA. For the past 10 years, Tanya has fought RA and struggled to maintain the life she and her husband have enjoyed with their three children. It is through this amazing website that RA sufferers see how they can celebrate the small victories that occur every day. Tanya is an avid reader, and she shares her love of books on her page. If you are a sufferer of RA, you will appreciate her motivation and determination.
Connect on Twitter: @momsvictories
Pollyanna Penguin’s RA Blog
The Norfolk, U.K. blogger who goes by the name Pollyanna is true to her fictional namesake, the little girl who saw the positive side of every situation. Is this blogger glad she has RA? Hardly. But she is determined to look at the positives in life. She even admits that, in her more down moments, she returns to her own blog for inspiration. Read Pollyanna Penguin for carefully detailed posts on flare-ups and recovery, as well as for the latest news on medical developments. Recent posts have focused on her treatment with methotrexate, which may offer hope for people with RA.
Connect on Twitter: @PollyannPenguin
RA Adventure Rider
Your first run through this blog should be to take in all the images of the Arkansas Ozarks and be reminded of how healing nature can be. Blogger Terry’s RA has “reduced” him to riding less than 200 miles a day in most cases, but his blog is the place to read about what RA does not limit — namely, gratitude — as well as the impact of the condition and its treatment. As Terry writes in a post summing up his journey with his “jackass” companion RA: “Don't fight the bad days, the important thing is to not give up and let RA win.”
Taking care of yourself when you have RA can mean tending to emotional needs as well as physical ones. Blogger Wren has had RA for going on three decades. One way she cares for her psyche lately is by drawing. You might find her whimsical illustrations entertaining and healing to look at and be inspired by her commitment to her art. Wren doesn’t neglect practical matters, though, and her blog features tons of helpful tips gathered during her many years of living with what she describes as the “dragon” of RA.
Connect on Twitter: @RheumaBlog_Wren
Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior
If you’re only just learning about RA or want to catch up on the latest news, Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior is an excellent first stop. Blogger Kelly Young has been managing the site since she was diagnosed a decade ago. Check out posts like 10 Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago About Rheumatoid Arthritis for insights on how to prepare for, live with, and be compassionate about the condition.
Connect on Twitter: @rawarrior
If you want to hear from all people on the RA spectrum, this is the place for you. Physicians, RA experts, and patient advocates are all on hand to dispel misunderstandings, offer advice, and relate their experiences. There are also entries from people with RA, who not only share what it’s like living with RA, but get deep into the realities of medications and what is being done in the research field. Long or short, scientific or personal, this is an eclectic collection of content.
Connect on Twitter: @RA_HealthUnion