Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Best of Twitter

Medically reviewed by William Morrison, MD on December 1, 2016Written by Kristen Barta

Best RA Twitter Handles

When you think of “arthritis,” what comes to mind? For many, it’s a fuzzy mental picture. For millions of Americans, however, the image of arthritis is in painful focus.

The term arthritis refers to more than 100 different types of related conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for instance, is a form of inflammatory arthritis and affects more than 1.3 million people in the United States, roughly 75 percent of whom are women.

RA is also often referred to as an “invisible” chronic illness, as its most common signs — inflammation, joint stiffness, and internal pain — are difficult if not impossible to see with the naked eye. And the nature of flare-ups means that RA can range from being a minor nuisance one day to debilitating the next. People who have invisible chronic illnesses like RA can experience stigma or encounter discrimination from those who don’t believe or understand they are ill. For many, this stigma is a barrier to talking about it, and can negatively affect how they feel about themselves.

Sharing personal experiences and dispelling myths promotes understanding and can help reduce stigma and discrimination. Here are the best Twitter accounts to follow for news, stories, tips, and support by and for the RA community.

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Rheumatology

On Twitter, the American College of Rheumatology promotes awareness not only of rheumatic disease but also of the field of rheumatology. Look to this account for information on rheumatology conferences, resources, and tools for getting involved in the movement to advance rheumatology.

Follow them @ACRheum

Anna Evangeline

Anna Evangeline

Anna is a self-proclaimed RA warrior. Her Twitter handle refers to the multiple hip replacements she’s had due to her RA, though her surgeries haven’t prevented her from being a fierce athlete. Tweets range from personal to political to #chroniclife realities.

Follow her @sixhips

Arthritis Digest

Arthritis Digest

The Twitter arm of U.K.-based “Arthritis Digest” magazine, here you’ll get the lowdown on the latest arthritis research. Their articles summarize the results of recent research studies, new apps that could be helpful to arthritis sufferers, and more. This is a great account to follow if staying abreast of RA research is important to you.

Follow them @ArthritisDigest

Arthritis Foundation

Arthritis Foundation

Run by the U.S.-based Arthritis Foundation, this handle shares tons of facts about arthritis (not just RA), plus resources, tips, and community support. The foundation also participates in Twitter chats about arthritis with other expert accounts (many of whom are on this list!). Follow along if you want to feel like part of the team in changing the landscape of arthritis.

Follow them @ArthritisFdn

Arthritis National Research Foundation

Ashley Boynes-Shuck

With their sights set on curing arthritis, the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s tweets are geared toward promoting awareness and support through chats, conferences, and charity opportunities. The foundation also shares personal accounts of people living with arthritis and chronic autoimmune diseases.

Follow them @ArthritisNRF

Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a health coach, advocate, and author of the books “Sick Idiot” and “Chronically Positive.” She lives with RA, as well as several other chronic conditions, and aims to spread positivity and understanding through her online presence. Check out her blog and follow her on Twitter if you’re looking for inspirational images and positivity with just the right amount of real talk.

Follow her @ArthritisAshley

CreakyJoints

CreakyJoints

CreakyJoints has been spreading awareness about arthritis and providing support to the arthritis community at large since 1999. Their tweets range from daily fundamental facts about the condition, tagged #Arthritis365, to information about chats, such as #CreakyChats, #JointDecisions, and #RheumChat. Follow for retweetable facts and worthwhile conversation.

Follow them @CreakyJoints

Hurt Blogger

Hurt Blogger

Britt, the Hurt Blogger, is an RA advocate and blogger, both personally and professionally. Britt’s tweets are conversational and provide a peek into the often frustrating experience that is life with RA. Check out her account for polls, memes, and solidarity.

Tweet her @HurtBlogger

Jonathan Hausmann MD

Jonathan Hausmann MD

A rheumatologist by profession, Boston-based Dr. Hausmann tweets about medical news and recent publications about arthritis as well as about broader discussions in the medical field, like the changing role of technology in medicine. Hausmann also maintains a website with more resources on autoinflammatory diseases. In keeping with his MD status, Hausmann’s tweets may be especially interesting for those who don’t mind a little medical lingo.

Tweet him @hausmannMD

Kate Mitchell

Kate Mitchell

Kate “the {almost} great” Mitchell is a writer living with inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia. Most of her tweets link to Mitchell’s writing about chronic illness and living with it, while the rest of the time her tweets are an eclectic mix of travel, fashion, and fun!

Follow her @kmitchellauthor

Kelly Young

Kelly Young

As her handle acknowledges, Kelly Young is an RA warrior. She maintains a blog of the same name, and shares her posts through Twitter. Her content includes information on medical research, topical think pieces about RA, personal accounts of RA, and resources for those who support RA patients. Follow her for thoughtful commentary on living with RA.

Follow her @rawarrior

Leslie Rott, MHA PhD

Leslie Rott, MHA PhD

Following Leslie Rott’s account feels like following a friend. The PhD, blogger, and health advocate tweets about her experiences living with RA and lupus, though also shares personal snapshots that aren’t explicitly tied to illness. Rott also shares her professional posts on what it’s like living with chronic illness, such as how to talk about it at work.

Follow her @LeslieRott

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society is a patient-led charity and the only one in the U.K. devoted entirely to promoting services and awareness related to RA. On Twitter, they share the latest milestones in RA research as well as in their own efforts, and host conversations about RA and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The account also announces and reports on charity activities, such as the recent Ride London, and charity meetings.

Follow them @NRAS_UK

RA Guy

RA Guy

RA Guy is a blogger and the founder of the RA Guy Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to surround people with RA with the support they need to “live above the illness.” His Twitter handle reflects this goal of community, as RA Guy posts questions (and responses), follower-generated memes, and messages of solidarity and support. Every Wednesday he tweets an image of a lit candle for people who suffer from chronic pain, depression, and related illnesses.

Follow him @RA_Guy

Rick Phillips Ed.D.

Rick Phillips

Rick Phillips’ account is all about advocating for conversation about chronic illness. Of late, he’s been promoting #RAblog week (September 26 to October 2) and participating in online chats. Regardless of content, his tweets often have a bit of humor to them. Phillips also manages RA Diabetes, a website and blog with resources on living with those two conditions.

Follow him @LawrPhil

CMS Id: 113581