• Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Find a rheumatoid arthritis support group

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the joints of the body. Autoimmune diseases develop when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body, causing painful swelling in the affected areas. With RA, many joints are attacked at once.

Prevalence of RA

About 1.3 million American adults have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Women are more often affected than men. RA can affect a person at any age, but people are usually diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60.

The main symptoms of RA are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joints. Fatigue, weight loss, and a mild fever can also be present in people with RA.

Diagnosing RA can be difficult because the signs and symptoms often mimic other disorders. There is no single test to diagnose RA. Instead, doctors will perform a physical exam and order blood tests, collect a patient’s family medical history, and perform imaging tests such as x-rays, which use radiation to formulate a picture of the patient’s blood. joints, to see how much damage has been done.

Over time, it may become more difficult for people with RA to move their hands, wrists, knees, or hips due to severe damage to their joints. RA can also damage the skin, lungs, eyes, heart, and blood vessels.

Dealing with RA can be difficult, but forums, groups, or discussion boards are one avenue of support for people living with the disease.

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Best RA Support Groups Online and In Person

Getting in touch with people who are similarly healthy can help you cope with your diagnosis. It can also help you find a community that can offer management advice that you may not have received from your doctor.

Research has shown that joining a support group for people with RA can dramatically increase a person’s quality of life and their understanding of the disease.

Blogs

Blogs written by people with RA can empower others simply by making them feel less alone. Reading a personal account of someone else’s experiences with RA can help you better understand your experience with the disease and learn new ways to cope with your symptoms.

Here are some examples of popular AR blogs:

How to cure rheumatoid arthritis

The Healing Well Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Forum provides a space for people with RA to interact with others, ask questions, and get advice on topics such as treatments and diet suggestions.

The space can also be a place where you can simply express your frustrations to people who understand and can feel the same way.

To join the forum, you can create a user account by clicking on the Join us button at the top of the page. Once you have registered, you can open a new discussion topic and interact with other forum members.

Live yes! Connect groups

The Arthritis Foundation created Live Yes! Connect Groups for people living with RA. The group offers virtual support links open to both caregivers and people living with the disease.

To participate, first register on the site. You can then get in touch with people who are in your area.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Daily Support Group

The Daily Strength Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group is one of the largest online support groups, with 2,000 members and 16,000 posts.

When you join, you will be able to post your own experiences, offer and get advice on coping with the disease, and connect with others who manage RA.

Some of the latest articles discuss medication warnings, how to be active when you have joint pain, and issues with current health care providers.

Personalized support groups

Research has shown that people with common interests and the same health condition can experience a better quality of life when they join groups focused on specific hobbies.

Pain Action

PainAction gives people with RA a guide to locating support groups in their communities, which helps people access in-person assistance rather than just online assistance.

The website also publishes articles on topics such as emotional coping skills, ways to increase social support, and self-management skills.

applications

The apps give you AR support in the palm of your hand. The myRAteam app offers users the ability to connect with other members living with the disease. By connecting with others through the app, you can gain insight into the varied experiences people have with RA, including treatments and therapies. The app is free to download for Apple and Android devices.

Track + React is also free to download for Apple and Android devices. The app gives users the ability to track their pain levels as they change throughout the day.

Diet, exercise, sleep, and daily activities all play a role in rheumatoid arthritis pain, and the app can help you track how these factors may improve or worsen your symptoms.

This app also gives you the option to send the information directly to your doctor, which can help you communicate about your treatment goals and progress.

Friends and family

Going to friends, family or loved one for support may not give you the same insight into your condition as an organized RA support group. However, that doesn’t mean that asking loved ones for help isn’t helpful.

Family and friends can be there to let off steam and can offer practical help on days when your symptoms are severe and interfere with your daily tasks.

Your medical team

Your medical team can often recommend support groups that you may not have heard of. Since there are many different types of support you can investigate, going through your medical team can help you find an option led by nurses, social workers, or other trained facilitators.

Social media support groups

Social media is another great tool you can use to connect with people around the world who are living with RA.

Facebook support groups

Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally Support Group is a Facebook community for those interested in alternative healing methods. The group’s advice covers diet, exercise and stress management.

If you’re looking for a light and humorous Facebook group, check out Squeaky Joints. The Facebook community is open only to people with RA and is focused on life to the fullest, even as you face the challenges of the disease.

There are also private Facebook communities you can join: The Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group and Rheumatoid Arthritis Support and Awareness, both of which require potential members to answer preliminary questions before being accepted.

Forum

Online forums are another way for you to connect with other people living with RA. Two examples are Rheumatoid Arthritis Forum and RheumatoidArthritis.net.

While RhematoidArthritis.net requires you to create an account in order to post and comment, the Rheumatoid Arthritis Forum does not.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Caregiver Support Groups

Caring for someone with a chronic illness, including RA, can be a full-time job. You may not have as much time for social activities, work obligations and personal care as you once did.

Research has shown that caregivers face new or worsening mental health issues, including depression or anxiety, and their physical health can deteriorate as well.

Just as support is important for people living with chronic illness, caregivers should also consider joining support groups. Here are some examples:

Living with RA can be difficult, but know that you are not alone. There are many places, online and in real life, that you can turn to for information, support, and encouragement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I find a local rheumatoid arthritis support group?

    Finding a rheumatoid arthritis support group can be overwhelming, as the choices are so vast. The first step is to decide what type of group you would like to join. There are online, in-person, and other variations that can all be beneficial. Once you’ve decided, you can join, log in, or sign up for your favorite support community. If you want to find a local support group run by professional social workers in your area, ask your doctor for recommendations.

  • What can I expect in a rheumatoid arthritis support group?

    When you join a support group, you can expect to come into contact with people who have literally felt your RA pain and who know exactly what you are going through. Getting in touch with other people with RA can provide you with advice that you may not have thought of and help you feel less alone in the face of the daily challenges of living with the disease.

  • How do I start a rheumatoid arthritis support group?

    Starting your own AR support group can be a difficult task, but it can also be rewarding. First, see how many groups and what types of groups are currently available in your area. For example, there might already be general support groups, but you can create a more personalized option, like Women with RA Who Knit or Young Athletes with RA. Once you’ve come up with your idea, check out a facilitator’s guide, such as the one provided by the American Chronic Pain Association. This will provide you with all the details you need to get started.