Reactive Arthritis Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Overview of Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter’s syndrome, is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs as a reaction to an infection in another part of the body. It typically affects the joints, eyes, and urinary tract. Reactive arthritis commonly occurs in response to bacterial infections of the genital, urinary, or gastrointestinal systems. Early diagnosis and treatment at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia (ARG) are crucial to managing symptoms and preventing complications.

Symptoms of Reactive Arthritis

  • Joint Pain and Swelling: Typically affects the knees, ankles, and feet.
  • Eye Inflammation: Conjunctivitis or uveitis causing redness, pain, and blurred vision.
  • Urinary Issues: Pain or burning sensation during urination, increased frequency, and urgency.
  • Enthesitis: Inflammation where tendons and ligaments attach to bones, commonly at the heels.
  • Skin Rashes and Mouth Sores: Rashes on the palms and soles, mouth ulcers.

Diagnosis of Reactive Arthritis

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Conducted by a rheumatologist at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia to assess symptoms and rule out other conditions.
  • Laboratory Tests:
    • Blood Tests: To detect markers of inflammation and identify infection.
    • Urine Tests: To identify bacterial infections in the urinary tract.
    • Joint Fluid Tests: To exclude other types of arthritis.
  • Imaging Tests:
    • X-rays: To detect joint damage and inflammation.
    • MRI and Ultrasound: To assess the severity of inflammation and early joint changes.

Treatment Options for Reactive Arthritis

  • Medications:
    • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
    • Antibiotics: If an underlying bacterial infection is still present.
    • Corticosteroids: To reduce severe inflammation.
    • DMARDs: Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for chronic or severe cases.
  • Therapies:
    • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve joint flexibility and muscle strength.
    • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to protect joints during daily activities.
  • Lifestyle Changes:
    • Exercise: Regular, low-impact exercises such as swimming or walking.
    • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods.
    • Stress Management: Techniques such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises.
    • Smoking Cessation: Quitting smoking to reduce symptom severity.

Living with Reactive Arthritis

  • Pain and Fatigue Management: Using medications, physical therapy, and adequate rest.
  • Joint Function and Mobility: Engaging in regular exercises and using assistive devices if needed.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Keeping up with appointments to monitor symptoms and treatment efficacy.
  • Medication Adherence: Taking prescribed medications as directed to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions | Reactive Arthritis

What causes reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is triggered by a bacterial infection in another part of the body, such as the genital, urinary, or gastrointestinal systems. The immune system reacts to the infection, causing inflammation in the joints and other areas.

Is reactive arthritis contagious?
No, reactive arthritis itself is not contagious. However, the bacterial infections that trigger it can be contagious.

Can reactive arthritis be cured?
There is no cure for reactive arthritis, but its symptoms can be managed effectively with a combination of treatments.

How long does reactive arthritis last?
The duration of reactive arthritis varies. In some cases, it may resolve within a few months, while in others, it may become chronic and require ongoing management.

What lifestyle changes can help manage reactive arthritis?
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and quitting smoking can all help manage symptoms and improve overall health.

What foods are good for managing reactive arthritis?
A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help manage symptoms.

How can Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia help with reactive arthritis?
At Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia, we offer comprehensive care for reactive arthritis, including diagnostic tests, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing management to improve joint health and reduce the risk of complications.

Contact Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia

For comprehensive care for reactive arthritis, schedule an appointment with Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia. Call us at 404-255-5956 or use our online contact form. We proudly serve patients in the metro Atlanta area and beyond, providing expert care and personalized treatment plans.

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