What You Need To Know About Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a condition that can develop after a bacterial infection affects your genitourinary or gastrointestinal systems. Reactive arthritis can be caused by an infection of:

  • Chlamydia
  • Campylobacter
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Yersinia

Reactive arthritis can sneak up on you, resulting in symptoms that can occur weeks after the initial infection. Reactive arthritis can be a temporary condition, lasting only a few days, or a chronic condition. It most commonly affects men between 20 and 50 years old.

You may have reactive arthritis if you experience:

  • Pain and swelling in your knees, ankles, or heels
  • Severe swelling of your toes or fingers
  • Severe lower back pain
  • Irritated, red eyes
  • Burning when you urinate
  • Skin rashes on your palms or soles of your feet

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, you need to visit your rheumatologist, who may recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen for mild cases of reactive arthritis
  • Antirheumatic drugs, including sulfasalazine, or methotrexate, or biologics, like etanercept or adalimumab, for moderate to severe cases
  • Corticosteroid injections may also be recommended for joint inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Want To Know More?

Inflammatory conditions like reactive arthritis can dramatically impact your life. Your rheumatologist can help. To find out more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of reactive arthritis, call Drs. Jacqueline Vo, Haihui Wang, and Mary Catherine Gibson at Rheumatology Center of Houston. You can reach them in both the Houston and Pearland, TX, locations by calling (713) 640-5477, so call today.

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