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Reactive Arthritis

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Last updated December 5, 2021

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What is reactive arthritis?

Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the joints become inflamed, causing pain and swelling. It is often triggered by an infection, often a gastrointestinal, gential, or urinary infection. Illnesses such as chlamydia and urethritis can cause it. In reactive arthritis, the large joints of the legs and the sacroiliac joints are most often affected. You may also have conjunctivitis.

It can last up to six months to a year.



You should consider visiting a healthcare provider in the next two weeks to discuss your symptoms. Your provider will look at your medical history, and may request blood tests and imaging. Once diagnosed, it can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, such as nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve). Your doctor will make sure you don’t have any lingering bacterial infection that needs to be treated.

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