Whether you’re keeping a pain journal, want to reduce stress in your life or need to sleep better, your smartphone can be a good aid in helping you manage rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms.
These 25 apps are designed for those with RA and other chronic pain, and many of them are free to download.
Track + React
Track + React was developed by the Arthritis Foundation. It’s free to use on the Kindle Fire, Android devices, iPads and iPhones. You can use the app on its own or try the complementary web tool (login required). Track your medications, how many hours of sleep you get, and what you eat each day.
Each day, MyRA lets you rate your pain levels from one to five, with one being “very good” and five being “very bad.” The longer you use the app, the more detailed information it logs, displaying your changing levels of pain across weeks and months.
With its reminder feature, you won’t forget to login each day — and if you do, you can go back to the day before and fill in that information.
German company Axovis Technology created the RheumaTrack app, which is available in both English and German. Its visual analog scale makes it easy to measure pain levels every day. You can also rate how stiff your joints and muscles are.
Health Mapper is an all-in-one app for all sorts of pain. If you have an Apple iOS device, Health Mapper can send your information straight to the Apple Health app. As you measure your pain levels over time, you can save the charts and reports and print them, bringing them with you to your next doctor’s appointment.
Both a website and an app, MyMedSchedule helps those with RA remember to take their medications every day. You can even get a read on your heart rate and other vital signs with this app. It’s available for Android and iOS devices.
Publicis Dublin (with assistance by Arthritis Ireland and the Rheumatology Department at St. James’s Hospital) developed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Information, Support and Education (RAISE) app to provide a solution for the thousands of people in Ireland with some form of arthritis. Medical specialists at Arthritis Ireland created the tools for this app, which also lets users read the latest news on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and treatments.
Chronic Pain Tracker
Learn more about your health and body with Chronic Pain Tracker. You can review your mental health, medications, bowel movements, body weight and blood pressure to see how these affect your symptoms. The app then generates a comparison report, calendar pain report or diary history report. Next time you see your doctor, you can share this information to fine-tune your treatment plan.
Do you know what triggers your RA? Have you noticed patterns in your pain? With RheumaBuddy, you can dig deeper into these insights. The app lets users upload pictures and record audio for easy chronicling. The simple interface, which uses sliding scales and smilies to represent pain levels, makes this an easy app to pick up and use.
If your hands are often sore because of your RA, the eTreatMD myHand app could help. This can predict pain levels based on your location and the day’s weather. Add which medications and other treatments you’re using, and eTreatMD myHand will let you know which of those should work best.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and DKBmed developed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Vital Education Initiative (RAVE) app as a guide for understanding RA. RAVE includes medication information, an activity tracker and a diagnostic calculator.
MedHelper is intended for both patients with RA and their caregivers. Set up a schedule to avoid missing medications, connect with pharmacies to order refills and, if necessary, speak with a doctor.
Switching medications? Change the “take as needed” settings to shut off certain reminders.
Sometimes, just taking some time for yourself and focusing on being mindful can put you in a better mental state. Because RA pain can affect mental health, use Smiling Mind to restore a sense of tranquility. This app is intended to help users meditate and “bring balance” into their lives.
Created by NPS MedicineWise in Australia, the MedicineList+ app is another option for those feeling bogged down by too many medications. If you happen to take vitamins or other supplements, you can include these in your medication list so you never miss a dosage.
Meditation Oasis, the company behind the Simply Being app, makes a slew of apps for mindfulness, relaxation and sleeping. Simply Being leads you on a guided meditation for better relaxation. Stress can exacerbate pain and other symptoms of RA, making this app a handy one.
The Pain Toolkit App
The Pain Toolkit was founded by Pete Moore in 2002 and has grown to encompass an app, workshops, resources and other tools. Moore has chronic pain, so he used his own experiences when creating this pain diary.
BioStatus Nutrition Tracker
If you have chronic pain and you’re trying to eat more healthily, let the BioStatus Nutrition Tracker help. Not only can you keep track of what you’re eating, but you can also measure other key health metrics such as heart rate, aerobic endurance, body strength, body fat, BMI and more. This information is displayed in a medical log that you can show to your doctor.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diary
The calendar feature in the Rheumatoid Arthritis Diary is incredibly detailed. You can note how your sleep, nutrition, weather, exercise, medications and other factors have impacted your pain each day. Over time, the app will learn your triggers and predict them with the Trending and Forecasting feature.
You can also use this app as a way to digitize your personal medical records, noting when you saw your doctor or went to a hospital.
MyBrainSolutions, the company behind MyCalmBeat, creates apps and other tools for managing depression, ADHD and addiction. MyCalmBeat keeps stress at bay by teaching relaxing breathing techniques. This app can actually read a user’s breathing rate and guide them in slowing it down. Download it for Android, BlackBerry or iOS.
PainSense Pain Management Plan
UK company PainSense “focuses on the clinical care pathway on supporting self-management of pain.” Its Pain Management Plan app does just that, letting the user set little or big personal goals such as sleeping better or exercising more. The app has resources and tools for meeting goals to keep users motivated.
Are your sleeping habits negatively affecting your pain levels? Young and Well CRC’s Recharge app aims to fix those bad habits in six weeks. By incorporating exercise, spending more time outside and ensuring you have a set sleep and wake schedule, you should notice your sleeping habits change. By that sixth week, your pain levels may even decrease.
Knee Gym: Exercises for Knee Pain and Arthritis
If your doctor approves moderate exercise as a treatment for your RA, give the Knee Gym: Exercises for Knee Pain and Arthritis app a try. Developed by Healthline, this app includes more than 40 knee and leg exercises. Before you do any of those exercises, watch the instructional video to reduce the risk of injury.
Pocket Yoga is another useful app for those with chronic pain who want to exercise to reduce their symptoms. Download this on your iPad or iPhone and then choose the yoga poses you’re in the mood for. Poses are categorized for beginners to experts.
Seeking some camaraderie? This app can mimic a yoga class with audio instructions from pose to pose.
ProHealth Tracker App
As an “8-in-1” resource, the ProHealth Tracker App is made for those with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and more. It can store a year’s worth of daily pain readings. This free app also includes a sleep tracker and medication management tool.
The Track & Share Movement connects people with similar goals and lets those act as motivation to get things done. The TracknShare app has a similar purpose and can be used to stick to a new sleep schedule or start eating better to reduce RA pain.
If your joints are inflamed, you should consider eating more nutritiously. Calorific is an app that shows “exactly what calories look like.” Just search for the food you’re eating and you’ll see a high-res picture with detailed nutritional information. Knowing more about what you eat helps you make informed dietary decisions.