Reactive arthritis



Formerly referred to as Reiter’s syndrome, reactive arthritis causes inflammation in various joints in the body, especially the knees, feet, toes, hips and ankles. It typically develops following an infection (particularly sexually transmitted) or food poisoning.

Common Symptoms

Joint pain and stiffness, pain in heels, lower back, and/or buttocks, eye inflammation, cervix inflammation, prostate gland inflammation, enthesitis (inflammation of the enthesis, which is where a tendon or ligament attaches to bone), swollen toes/fingers, increased frequency of urination, discomfort when urinating, and rashes on soles and palms and mouth sores.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Iritis (inflammation of the colored part of your eye – the iris), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes), vulvovaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), and keratoderma blennorrhagica (skin lesions).

Risk Factors and Prevalence

Male sex, ages 20 – 40, exposure to sexually transmitted bacteria; specific genetic markers (including HLA-B27).


  1. Article Sources and Footnotes
    1. Reactive Arthritis. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2021, from

    2. Reactive Arthritis. (n.d.). NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). Retrieved June 12, 2021, from

    3. Reactive arthritis. (2017, October 23). Nhs.Uk.

    4. Reactive arthritis—Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 12, 2021, from