We tend to think of arthritis as a disease of aging, but you don’t necessarily need to have gray hair to experience sore joints. In fact, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can start at any age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike other forms of arthritis, which are caused by wearing away of the joints, RA is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the joints.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1.5 million Americans currently live with RA. If you’re one of them, managing pain is likely a priority for you. Here are 10 apps that will help you get a handle on your RA, and get on with your life.
If pain follows you throughout the day, this app can help you manage it. Designed by rheumatologists, RheumaTrack helps you keep a record of when you’re in the most discomfort.
Track when your joints are sore and stiff and follow your pain over time to see when it’s most severe. You can track your activities and which days RA keeps you home from work. Send the data to your doctor to help fine-tune your treatment. RheumaTrack also includes helpful reminders to take your medicine, so you’ll never forget.
Take control of your health with this free and easy app. HealthLog tracks all of your health measures, including your weight, blood pressure, workouts, sleep, diet, mood, and checkup history.
Chart how well you’re keeping up with nutrition, fitness, and sleep over time. You can create up to 12 different kinds of graphs to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy.
At checkups, when the doctor asks how you’ve been feeling, do you have a hard time remembering? With RA, symptoms can change. It’s often hard to remember how you were feeling weeks, or even days ago. That’s where MyRA comes in.
This breakthrough app will let you chart how you’re feeling day to day, week to week, and month to month. Then when your doctor asks how you’re doing, you can quickly pull up a summary of your symptoms over time. MyRA will streamline your medical visits and give your doctor a useful tool to help plan your treatment.
My Pain Diary
The creator of My Pain Diary is a chronic pain sufferer who knew exactly which features to include in this app. My Pain Diary is easy to use and has earned multiple awards — including the Web Health Award and Best App Ever Award.
With this app, you can track your pain from RA and from dozens of other conditions. You can even see how all of your conditions interact to change how you feel. A special weather feature will show you how your pain changes in response to temperature, barometric pressure, and other factors. You can even create a graph of your pain and print a report for doctor’s visits.
Track + React
Everything you do during the day — from sleep to exercise — has the potential to impact your pain. Now you can see exactly how each activity makes you feel.
Track + React, created by the Arthritis Foundation, keeps a record of your nutrition, fitness, sleep, medication, and mood. By following trends in these areas over time, you can adjust your lifestyle accordingly. You can also share an Arthritis Impact graph with your doctor. As an added bonus, the Arthritis Foundation — a leading authority in RA care — provides advice and tips for managing your condition.
There’s a good chance you’re juggling multiple medications to manage your RA pain. Do you know how well each medicine is helping your symptoms, or whether it’s causing side effects?
RAVE takes all the guesswork out of managing RA medication. This app keeps track of your treatments and symptoms to see how well your medications are working for you. It also provides helpful information on common side effects, so you can work with your doctor to nip any potential problems in the bud.
@Hand: Rheumatology Checklist
Do you know all of the medicines that are available to help your RA? @Hand brings all of your rheumatologist’s knowledge right into the palm of your hand.
Included in this app is a list of all your treatment choices, as well as the advantages of each choice. You’ll learn what to expect when you take a particular medicine, from potential improvements to possible side effects. You’ll also learn how to know if your treatment is working, and whether it may be time to switch to another drug.
RheumaHelper is designed for rheumatologists, but anyone with a solid knowledge of RA can use it. The app, which is promoted as “a mobile rheumatology assistant,” includes a long list of arthritis conditions, including RA.
The app includes disease activity calculators and classification criteria for various conditions.
Body Pain Management Hypnosis
What if you could harness the power of your subconscious mind to overcome your pain? Using suggestion to induce positive changes is at the core of hypnosis. For many years, people have used this technique to improve a variety of health outcomes, including quitting smoking and overcoming fears. This app applies the principles of hypnosis to pain management.
Body Pain Management Hypnosis is the brainchild of hypnotherapist Elizabeth Harford, who narrates the audio track. Her words will take you into a state of heightened awareness, where you can learn how to control your pain and your body’s reaction to it.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) @Point of Caretm Edition
When it comes to arthritis, knowledge is power, and this app aims to inform. RA @Point of Care provides comprehensive information on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of RA. This information is divided into chapters for easy consumption. It also provides interactive multimedia tools and insights from professionals.
The app was originally designed to offer continuing medical education credit to healthcare professionals like rheumatologists and nurse practitioners, so the information it contains is well researched and trustworthy.
More Help for RA
These RA apps are useful tools to help you better manage your arthritis. Use them in conjunction with other trusted sources of advice — starting with your doctor. There are also a number of informational sites you can turn to for tips. One place to start is Healthline’s Living with Arthritis Facebook page. It includes trusted medical information, as well as a supportive community where you can ask questions about living with RA.
We selected these RA apps based on their potential to aid people with RA and those at risk of RA. Additional factors considered in selecting these apps included user ratings, affordability, accessibility, format, functionality, and relevance to the RA community's needs. Together, this collection represents the gamut of helpful iPhone and Android apps that are successfully designed to make life with RA more manageable.
Please note: Healthline Networks does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Healthline Networks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.