Reactive Arthritis (Reiter Syndrome)

Reactive arthritis (aka, arthritis, Reiter Syndrome) is one of several inflammatory joint diseases that fall into the category of spondyloarthropathies. Other diseases under the umbrella of spondyloarthropathies are ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and arthritis with inflammatory bowel disease. Spondyloarthropathies are complicated to diagnose and treat, and because there are no definitive tests for these inflammatory diseases, and no treatment works for everyone. The prevalence of Reactive syndrome is 0.1% of the population, which is very rare compared to other inflammatory diseases such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Typically, a person may first begin experiencing symptoms of this disease in late teens to early adulthood. Males are 5 times more likely to be affected by this disorder. 80% of patients who develop this disease test positive for the HLA-B27 genotype. Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) B27 is a surface antigen that your own body makes if you test positive for the gene. For some, but not all those with this antigen, the presence of it can cause a reaction in your body's immune system to the point that it starts producing cells intent on destroying them. The result can be an immune response that causes your body's own ligaments, tendons, and joints to be attacked.

One of the common links among all of the inflammatory diseases under the umbrella of is of the . Because the spine is made up of 48 joints, it is commonly by any form of arthritis. Reactive arthritis is associated with other , including Sacroiliitis, peripheral arthritis (arthritis in the arms and legs), (inflammation of the , where or insert into the bone), and skin lesions. Patients with Reactive arthritis also have an elevated of developing skin problems such as Circinate balanitis and .

Reactive arthritis is a group of inflammatory conditions that involve the joints. Other structures that may be impaired by this group of conditions include the eyes, urethra, and nails (Onycholysis). There may be sores on the skin of your body as well as mucus membranes.

Treatment: Doctors are still learning and researching causes and treatments for this disease, which is to say that there is no cure for reactive arthritis at this time. The treatment objective upon being diagnosed is to treat the underlying infection and to reduce the severity of symptoms. Skin conditions caused by the disease are not treated aggressively because they usually go away on their own. If the cause of the disease is due to an infection that is still active in your body, then the doctor will want to treat with antibiotics to put down the infection. For mild joint pain, the physician will want to treat with Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or other pain relievers. If there is persistent inflammation to one or more joints, a physician may try corticosteroid injections into the inflamed joint(s). Unlike joint pain and caused by mechanical disorders of the back (such as facet syndrome), exercise is recommended to relieve some of the symptoms of reactive arthritis. Physical therapy and other light impact exercise (such as swimming and walking) may help you to build or maintain muscle strength, move better, and relieve back pain, lower back pain, and middle back pain.