What is reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a relatively short-lived condition causing painful joint swelling. It develops shortly after a bowel, genital tract or, less frequently, a throat infection. In most cases, it clears up completely within 6 months causing no further problems. Read more
What are the symptoms of reactive arthritis?
Common symptoms of reactive arthritis include painful or tender swelling in the joints, especially in the legs and feet, fingers and toes, although the wrists, elbow and joints at the base of the spine may also be affected. Read more
Who gets reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis can affect people of all ages, including children. You may be more likely to develop it if you have a particular gene, HLA-B27. Read more
What causes reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a reaction to an infection elsewhere in your body, for example in the gut or genital tract, although the original infection itself may have been very mild. Read more
What is the outlook for reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis will usually disappear completely within 6 months. Some people may have symptoms for longer, but only a small number of people go on to develop persistent arthritis. Read more
How is reactive arthritis diagnosed?
Reactive arthritis can usually be distinguished from other types of arthritis because of the link to an earlier infection. Your doctor will probably need to ask about your recent health and sexual activity if they suspect reactive arthritis. Read more
What treatments are there for reactive arthritis?
Treatment for reactive arthritis may include treatment for the original infection, for the inflammation and possibly for more severe or persistent arthritis. Read more
Self-help and daily living for reactive arthritis
Self-help tips for reactive arthritis include short-term rest, using heat/ice packs, and wearing resting wrist splints or heel and shoe pads as necessary. Read more
Is reactive arthritis the same as viral-associated arthritis?
No, viral-associated arthritis is linked to an active virus infection or sometimes a vaccination and usually clears up within a few weeks. Read more
Research and new developments for reactive arthritis
Research has given us a better understanding of how infections can trigger reactive arthritis by over-stimulating the immune system. Read more