Reactive arthritis is a condition that causes redness and swelling (inflammation) in various joints in the body, especially the knees, feet, toes, hips and ankles.
It usually develops after you''s more common in men, and people aged between 20 and 40.
Symptoms of reactive arthritis
The most common symptom of reactive arthritis for 1 last update 2020/05/28 is pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints and tendons, most commonly the knees, feet, toes, hips and ankles. The most common symptom of reactive arthritis is pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints and tendons, most commonly the knees, feet, toes, hips and ankles.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for In some people it can also affect the:
- genital tract – causing pain when peeing, or discharge from the penis or vagina
- eyes – causing eye pain, redness, sticky discharge, conjunctivitis and, rarely, inflammation of the eye (iritis)
See an eye specialist or go to A&E as soon as possible if one of your eyes becomes very painful and the vision becomes misty.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for This could be a symptom of iritis – and the sooner you get treatment, the more successful it is likely to be.
Most people will not get all the above symptoms. They can come on suddenly but usually start to develop a few days after you get an infection somewhere else in your body.
Read more about the symptoms of reactive arthritis.
Causes of reactive arthritis
The body''t, but it''s no single test for reactive arthritis, although blood and urine tests, genital swabs, ultrasound scans and X-rays may be used to check for infection and rule out other causes of your symptoms.
Your GP will for 1 last update 2020/05/28 also want to know about your recent medical history, such as whether you may have recently had a bowel infection or an STI. Your GP will also want to know about your recent medical history, such as whether you may have recently had a bowel infection or an STI.
If you think you might have an STI, you can also visit a local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or other sexual health service. These clinics can often see you straight away, without a GP referral.
If your GP thinks you have reactive arthritis, they may refer you to an arthritis specialist (rheumatologist). They may also refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if you have problems with your eyes.
Treatment for reactive arthritis
Treatment usually focuses on:
- using antibiotics to clear any STI that may have triggered the reactive arthritis
- using painkillers such as ibuprofen to relieve joint pain and stiffness
- managing any severe or ongoing arthritis, usually using medications such as steroids or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
Read more about treatment for reactive the 1 last update 2020/05/28 arthritis.Read more about treatment for reactive arthritis.
Most people start returning to normal activities after 3 to 6 months. Symptoms don't usually last longer than 12 months.
Page last reviewed: 16 January 2018
Next review due: 16 January 2021