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What Is Reactive Arthritis

Jan 2, 2008
What is Reactive arthritis and how can it be effectively dealt with.

Reactive arthritis was first described by a German military physician called Hans Reiter in 1916. He described the disease seen in soldier in orld War I, who had recovered from a bout of diarrhea.

Reactive arthritis can be described as an inflammation in the joints which can develop as a reaction to an virus or infection. Reactive arthritis can be treated and attacks from it normally doesn't last that long.

What can cause Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is caused when a joint 'reacts' to an infection elsewhere in the body.

Reactive arthritis refers to pain, stiffness, redness or swelling in a joint resulting from a previous infection. It is also considered as a systemic rheumatic disease.

Reactive arthritis cannot be passed from one person to another. It itself is not contagious and is not defined as a sexually transmitted disease.

Reactive arthritis is among a group of disorders known as seronegative spondyloarthropathies that can cause inflammation in the joints of the spine, legs and arms and in other parts of the body.

Listed below are some examples that can trigger Reactive Arthritis:

* Common flu virus
* Mild or severe food poisoning
* Sexually transmitted diseases

They are mainly seen in young people and can really occur at any age.

Reactive Arthritis - What happens next

Reactive Arthritis can progress quite fast. It can usually be seen 3-12 weeks after it's been triggered. Joints ten to swell and are painful, especially the knees, ankles and toes are normally the first symptoms people tend to get.

How will it Reactive Arthritis affect me?

In general reactive arthritis tend to last from a few weeks to six months with no future complications. Some of the symptoms listed below may be seen:

* Swelling and pain in the knees, toes or ankles
* Pain in the lower part of your back
* infections in genitals and urinary tract
* skin conditions
* infections in the eyes
* sausage toes, Inflammation in joints and tendons simultaneously

How is Reactive Arthritis treated?

Reactive arthritis can be very difficult to diagnose and no conclusive tests exists at present. Phase one of the Reactive Arthritis treatment will deal with the infection or virus that might have started the condition, antibiotics are often used.

Phase two of Reactive Arthritisis treatment is for the joint pain and swelling. The following may be prescribed by your doctor:

* non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the inflammation
* steroids injected into the inflammed area if it is severe
* disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) if your arthritis is still present after a few months

What can you do?

Your doctor may also perform a physical examination, and order x-rays and other tests to find out what has caused the arthritis.

Exercising your muscles is very important which in turn keeps your joints moving. Your doctor might refer you to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist who will teach you how to properly exercise your joints.

Lots of rest is key and is an important part of the recovery process. You should also consider trying out different complementary Reactive Arthritis treatments and therapies.

However, most people with reactive arthritis can expect to live normal life spans and maintain a near-normal lifestyle with modest adaptations to protect the involved organs.
About the Author
Article by Trevor Vernon - BizArticles.co.uk Learn proven remedies and treatments to eliminate Arthritis Pain. Tips, tutorials, videos, interviews and more. Click here now http://www.bizarticles.co.uk
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