Reactive arthritis is classified as an autoimmune condition that develops in response to an infection in another part of the body (cross-reactivity). Coming into contact with bacteria and developing an infection can trigger the disease. By the time the patient presents with symptoms, often the "trigger" infection has been cured or is in remission in chronic cases, thus making determination of the initial cause difficult.
Nonspecific Reactive athritis may be treated with a short course of tetracycline. Analgesics, particularly NSAIDs, are used. Steroids, sulfasalazine and immunosuppressants may be needed for patients with severe reactive symptoms that do not respond to any other treatment. Local corticosteroids are useful in the case of iritis. Physical therapy-Exercise can help people with arthritis improve joint function. A physical therapist can provide you with specific exercises for your joints and muscles.
Data on the incidence and prevalence of ReA are scarce, partly because of a lack of a disease definition and classification criteria; these factors complicate differentiation of ReA from other arthritides.The frequency is estimated to be 3.5-5 cases per 100,000. The incidence reported in US Navy personnel over a 10-year period was 4 cases per 100,000 men per year. The prevalence of ReA may be relatively high among patients with AIDS, especially men who are seropositive for HLA-B27. ReA develops in almost 75% of HIV-positive men with HLA-B27.