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Celebrities with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Celebrities--they're just like us...especially the ones that deal with arthritis.  Despite their fame and glamorous lives, these celebrities deal with chronic pain and joint issues, sharing their personal stories to raise awareness and offer support to others facing similar battles.

Fame conceals the battles fought in silence. Because behind all the glamour, these celebrities with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis tells us what it's like to live with this debilitating condition. 

For these Hollywood celebrities, living with arthritis involves living with the reality of chronic joint pain and everything that comes with it. This condition doesn't discriminate; it touches lives in crowded arenas and quiet living rooms alike.

Here, we explore how familiar faces meet daily challenges. Despite the glamour and excitement of the lives they lead, some of these famed actors, actresses, athletes, and personalities still have to live with the same daily struggles that you do.

Celebrities with Rheumatoid Arthritis

1. Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul has always pushed her body to the limit throughout her illustrious career. The singer, dancer, and American Idol icon gained fame for her well-choreographed, high-energy performances. However, in 2005, Abdul's demanding schedule was interrupted by a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. After receiving treatment, she made a triumphant return to the stage. Unfortunately, in 2015, she began experiencing unusual joint pains during rehearsals and was subsequently diagnosed with osteoarthritis as well. But as s someone who has danced her  entire life, she still believes in movement as the key to maintaining a happy and healthy life. 

2. Michael Kuluva

Michael Kuluva, a professional figure skater turned fashion designer, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2016. Despite the challenges posed by the disease, Kuluva has remained active in his career, using his experiences to inspire his work. He launched his fashion line, Tumbler & Tipsy, which includes designs that raise awareness about RA. Through his partnership with CreakyJoints, Kuluva has utilized fashion to communicate the impact of RA, creating pieces that reflect the pain and challenges associated with the condition. His efforts aim to foster a greater understanding and visibility for those living with RA.

3. Clairo

Claire Cottrill, widely known by her stage name Clairo, revealed to Dazed Magazine that she was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at the age of 17. This autoimmune disease, which causes severe joint pain and stiffness, significantly impacted her life and her music career. Despite the challenges, Clairo has used her platform to raise awareness about RA. Her debut album "Immunity" reflects her personal struggles, including living with RA, and aims to connect with others facing similar hardships. Clairo's openness about her condition helps to demystify the disease and offers support to her fans who might be dealing with similar issues

4. Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey, the co-founder of the Eagles, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) over 15 years before his death. Frey's battle with RA was compounded by ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, which ultimately led to his passing on January 18, 2016, at the age of 67. His manager, Irving Azoff, stated that the medications Frey was taking for his RA contributed to his complications, including colitis and pneumonia. These medications, while essential for managing RA, can weaken the immune system, making patients more susceptible to infections.

5. Kathleen Turner

celebrities with rheumatoid arthritis_kathleen turner

Kathleen Turner, Golden Globe winner and star of films like “Body Heat”, “Crimes of Passion”, “Moonlight and Valentino”, and “The Virgin Suicides” was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) back in 1992.

Since then, she’s undergone 12 surgeries. Despite being told by her physicians that her body would eventually succumb to the disease and eventually land her on a wheel chair, the star was determined to prove them wrong. She turns to pilates twice a week to keep herself strong and active.

6. Camryn Manheim

celebrities with rheumatoid arthritis_camryn manheim

Camryn Manheim, Emmy winning star of The Practice with film credits that include cult hits like Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion spent 8 months figuring out what was causing sharp, stabbing pains in her hands.

“When [my doctor] told me it was rheumatoid arthritis I said that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m too young. Well, I learned I was mistaken,” she said—a sentiment shared by a lot of RA sufferers upon diagnosis. 

7. Megan Park

celebrities with rheumatoid arthritis_megan park

Best known for her role as Grace in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”, Megan Park actually tried to conceal the fact that she had RA for a decade.

“I had all the classic symptoms: extreme joint swelling, different pain, the inability to do certain things that everyone else could,” Park shared in an interview. “That’s when I knew that something wasn’t right.”

When she went public with her diagnosis, it was so others who live with RA would realize that they weren’t alone. “I think it’s opened my eyes to, everybody has a story, essentially. You may not know about it, but everybody has something.”

Celebrities with Osteoarthritis

8. Shaquille O’Neal

NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his big toe in the early 2000s.

His diagnosis caused him to miss the first 12 games during the 2002-2003 games due to surgery.


9. Kobe Bryant

Celebrities with arthritis_kobe

Kobe Bryant was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis on his knee. Apparently, the arthritic knee was already in such a dire state that it was already bone on bone. This meant that every step Bryant took was excruciating.

“I wondered how I was ever going to play basketball again,” he shared.

10. Neve Campbell

celebrities with arthritis_neve cambell

Star of “Party of Five”, “Scream”, and more recently in “Skyscraper” with The Rock, the now 40 year old actress has been pretty candid about her experience with chronic pain.

“Here, I’ll give you the list,” Neve Campbell shared in an interview. “I’ve had bunions. I’ve had broken toes. I’ve had fallen arches. I’ve had strained tendons in my arches. I’ve had tendinitis in my Achilles’. I’ve had torn ligaments and sprained ankles in both ankles. Shinsplints. Pulled calves. In my knees, I’ve had chondromalacia and tendinitis. I’ve had pulled hamstrings. I’ve had snapping-hip syndrome and arthritis in my hips. I’ve had sciatic problems in my back and the arthritis in my neck. Oh, and I sprained my wrists.

Her condition was caused largely due to the wear and tear caused by her dancing career and continues to speak publicly about the pain her arthritis causes.


7. Patrick Stewart

celebrities with arthirtis_patric stewart

Patrick Stewart is a brilliant actor with an impressive filmography that includes Star Trek and X-Men. He’s also a vocal supporter of alternative medicine to treat and manage severe ortho-arthritis, which he has in both his hands.


8. Caitlyn Jenner

celebrities with arthritis_Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympian and reality TV star recently spoke about her struggle with osteoarthritis. Since diagnosis, she experiences chronic knee pain and has had to modify her lifestyle.

“When you have osteoarthritis, you have constant pain- whether you’re walking up and down hills or running after your kids – [so] you always know it’s there […] On the other hand, I have had to give up doing certain things because it’s a degenerative disease. […] I do everything I can to make my life livable and put off a knee replacement as long as possible,” she shared.

Still, she advises others to simply not let the condition get them down. “Try to deal with it as best as you possibly can. If you loved tennis and the old elbow or shoulder is bothering you, and you’re devastated that you can’t continue playing because it’s just too tough, find another passion, go out there and look for another sport. Find something else to do.”

9. Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams, the renowned British singer and former member of Take That, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) in his back, significantly impacting his ability to perform physically demanding activities, including dancing and playing football. Williams has humorously remarked that his current dance moves resemble those of "a drunk dad at a wedding" due to his condition.

10. Jennie Garth

Jennie Garth, best known for her role on "Beverly Hills, 90210," was diagnosed with early-onset osteoarthritis at the age of 47. Garth initially struggled to accept the diagnosis, as she felt she was too young for a condition often associated with older adults. She began noticing stiffness in her fingers and hands, as well as pain in her knees, prompting her to seek medical advice. The diagnosis was a shock, but she has since adapted by incorporating more movement and stretching into her daily routine, following an anti-inflammatory diet, and using over-the-counter treatments

Celebrities with Rheumatoid Arthritis and OsteoArthritis

Putting on a brave face and getting through the day despite aching joints, sleepless nights, and intense fatigue is par for course for anyone who deals with arthritis.

Celebrities get arthritis, too. It’s a reminder that we’re all in this together, looking for relief and support.

Check out Dr. Arthritis products to find what might work for you. Let’s make life a bit easier, together.


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