Reactive arthritis is joint pain and swelling brought on by an infection in another area of the body, most frequently the genitalia, urinary system, or intestines.
Typically, the knees, ankles, and feet are affected by this illness.
It usually resolves after a few months and presents no long-term issues.
Reactive arthritis symptoms
Reactive arthritis symptoms and indications often appear 1 to 4 weeks after acquiring a triggering infection.
They might consist of:
- Stiffness and pain. Knees, ankles, and feet are where reactive arthritis-related joint pain most frequently manifests itself
- Swollen eyes. Reactive arthritic patients frequently have eye irritation (conjunctivitis)
- Urinary issues. Urination may become more frequent and uncomfortable, and there may be cervicovaginal or prostate gland irritation
- Swollen fingers or toes
- Skin issues. Skin rashes on the soles of feet and palm and mouth sores
- Back pain
Causes for reactive arthritis
Reactive arthritis arises in response to an infection; several bacteria bring on reactive arthritis. Some are sexually transmitted, while others are foodborne.
The most typical ones consist of;
- Escherichia coli
Reactive arthritis s not contagious. However, the germs that cause it spread through contaminated food or sexual contact.
When to seek a doctor?
Contact a doctor if you get joint discomfort within a month of having diarrhea or genital infection.
Although there is no specific test for reactive arthritis, doctors may use vaginal swabs, blood and urine tests, ultrasound scans, and X-rays to look for infection.
Treatments concerning reactive arthritis
Commonly, treatment focuses on:
- Clearing any sexually transmitted disease that may have contributed to reactive arthritis with antibiotics
- Ibuprofen medication may use to relieve stiffness and joint pain
- Utilizing treatments such as steroids or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic therapies to manage any severe or persistent arthritis
After 3 to 6 months, most people begin returning to their regular activities. Symptoms often don’t persist for more than a year.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022