I have had reactive arthritis for about a month with no signs of it going away. Two different rheumatologists have said they have no idea if it will go away which is incredibly frustrating.
I was very active and healthy prior to this and now am unable to do pretty much everything I did before. I have severe neck and upper back pain, left knee & foot swelling & pain, right Achilles tendon swelling & pain, hip pain, etc.
I would love to know if there is a chance this will go away or if it's just something I'm stuck with.
im currently feeling pretty good still have aches and pains in my joints and alot of pins n needles and some times dont have any strengh in my wrists to open a jar but generlly im feeling loads better but like i said im very concerned if it will go away or do i have it for life
advice would be much appreciated
To anybody else who is suffering from the same - chin up, keep smiling and be strong.
i think the pain shifts around to different parts...im not sure how much longer it will last..
im 21 though and i need my youth back!
I have been hospitalised three times and been unable to move during that time because I had it from jaw to toes, absolutely awful. Was treated with IV pain killers, NSAIDS and bedrest during the acute stage. In between that time I have had numerous "outbreaks" when it has affected my life, but I have learnt how to deal with it and also some triggers. I have used various medications, but always stayed away from steriods or the stronger end of the spectrum. I manage it with NSAIDS and panadol. My RA has developed into fusing of the spine, but has so far not progressed further than my sacroiliac area.
Some things I have found - if I get angry, really cold or have any sort of tummy upset I will get RA pretty much the next day.
For a long time I couldn't eat potatos or the nighshade family (eggplant, tomatos), although I can now.
I don't drink, I make sure I have enough sleep and eat very healthily. I do moderate exercise and even make myself go for a walk when I feel a bit of pain. I have learnt to deal with pain and switch the sensation off when it is mild. I stay away from anyone that has gastro, viral illnesses (have told all my friends my risk). I am meticulous about eating only safe, well cooked food. If in doubt I don't eat it.
All these things help me deal with the occasional outbreak, although it seems to be getting milder. In the beginning I also practised being calmer (I was a bit of a stresshead), did meditation, had therapy and tried yoga etc.
Keep in mind that RA is really your immune system going crazy. It can be very hit and miss, but you can work out what helps and you will feel better. There is definetly a genetic component, my sister also developed it 4 years ago and tried all sorts of medications, including immunio suppresion, steriods (both injected and tablets) and all sorts of NSAIDS. She has now changed her lifestyle and is much like me only using a mild painkiller and NSAID when she needs to.
I am now pregnant and have had no symptoms so far. So - to anyone who find this and is feeling down, it may take a while, but I hope that you start to feel better. Look after yourself.
I am a professional artist (drawing, painting, airbrush, etc), and I can't do much anymore because of this crazy problem. I've had severe reactive arthritis for 12 years (since age 20, now 32). An inflammation usually occurs twice per year and it lasts for 3-5 months at a time! Most of this time, I cannot get out of bed and to the bathroom or in a vehicle due to extreme pain and stiffness in the lower back, legs, knees, ankles and joints which are used most often and/or cause the most stress.
This condition has occurred so many times that I've noticed a recognizable pattern: It begins with urethral discharge then within 1 week I can't walk. Every step I take causes me to scream with sharp excruciating pain in lower back and hips. I'm sure there are others who've experienced this.
ANY SOLUTION FOR REACTIVE ARTHRITIS??? IS THERE ANYTHING AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER THAT WILL REDUCE PAIN AND SWELLING??? (IBUPROFEN, ETC, DOES NOT WORK FOR ME). STEROIDS? WHAT KIND EXACTLY? ANY NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS THAT ARE EFFECTIVE AGAINST THIS? WE'RE ALL LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS. PLEASE OFFER WHATEVER ADVICE YOU HAVE. PLEASE TELL US WHAT MEDICATION HAS HELPED YOU.
I was 21 when I got reactive arthritis. It was so bad that I couldn't even touch my right foot to the ground. But 2 years on I am absolutely perfect. There is a massive connection between reactive arthritis and your diet.
I read a book by a woman named Barbara Allen. It's called "conquering arthritis". Please, please please do yourself a favour. Buy this book! It will save you hundreds of dollars and you won't have to take drugs ever again.
I refused to take the drugs the doctors prescribe right from the beginning because I've seen my father go through the same thing...without success I might add. NSAIDs and other anti-inflammatory drugs are actually making your condition worse. You see the real problem here is called leaky gut syndrome. Tiny particles of food are getting through your gut wall and your body is reacting violently against them. You need to remove all of the offending foods from your diet to allow your body to heal. It's a process known as an elimination diet. You also need to keep a food diary for a period of time. It takes discipline and hard work but it is SO worth it. It will change your life I promise.
The book describes what you should do, but there are some limited (sometimes conflicting) instructions on how to do elimination diets online.
If you've got the will-power to go through it you will be rewarded.
All the best.
I underwent my initial attack and was diagnosed with Reiter's syndrome (aka reactive arthritis) in October of 2001 after a food poisoning infection. I was 23 at the time. Actually I was living in Asia (Shanghai) then too, which was even more challenging as it took months to find a rheumatologist (in Hong Kong, where I spent 3 days in the hospital) to even diagnose me. By the time I connected with him, I had already been on crutches for over a month, as my ankle had swollen to a softball, and my hip (all left side) was extremely sore, among other joints. Ibuprofen up til then was not helping.
The rheumatologist put me on a heavy (I want to say 8 tablets a day) dose of sulfasalazine while I took a normal dose of a prescription NSAID (voltarin, I believe; I learned at this time that I'm allergic to Celebrex). I took monthly liver panels to ensure the sulphasalazine wasn't causing problems. While these medications helped my symptoms slightly, I was still on crutches for a week or two after initial diagnosis. There was no physical therapy clinic in Shanghai at the time, and I was referred by a friend to an (who I have since realized was outstanding) acupuncturist. She treated me at least twice per week, and the decrease in joint pain after each week was very noticeable. I was off crutches shortly after seeing her. And when my last joint problem (my ankle) wasn't going away after almost 2 months treatment, she put a needle in the base of my foot. That was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. I had to take Codene to sleep that night, and the next day was back on crutches as the pain in my ankle had gone way up. However, that afternoon, without noticing it at first, I got up from my chair forgetting my crutches and there was absolutely no pain in my ankle! I was bounding up and down stairs for the first time in months! While I remained on sulfasalazine for the better part of two years, I feel acupuncture was a very strong reason why I recovered, or at least recovered as quickly as I did.
5 years later, in 2006, I was diagnosed with an SI joint dysfunction that was not related to Reiter's (one joint stopped moving, the other was overpronating, and the pain was unbearable; I couldn't walk and carry anything, and when going to lunch with friends had to ask them to slow down b/c I couldn't keep up walking). I was still in Shanghai, and went to a (new) physical therapy clinic, that did a great job and finally knocked the last bit of pain out with a cortisone shot. After that, no problem for years...
Why am I writing this last paragraph? Because last November my (right) SI joint has re-inflamed, followed by several other joints (right hip bursitis, bad neck stiffness [haven't had full rotation in my neck for over 2 months], & some shoulder & back pain). My Reiter's has recurred, 8 years after the original attack. I am in the US now (Houston), and am back on sulfasalazine, which has helped a bit. I have however been in physical therapy since November, and had a cortisone shot in my SI joint & hip bursa, but each are still painful. The point of the last paragraph was I know physical therapy and a cortisone shot helps non-Reiter's in the same (SI) joint, but it hasn't with a Reiter's reaction. I have been unemployed since last summer, but as soon as that situation changes I am going to an acupuncturist. Hopefully I'll have a success story to offer then.
Til then, TRY AN ACUPUNCTURIST! I know there is a lot of confusion about this syndrome / disease, and there isn't a lot of clear info (trust me, there's a LOT more online now than there was in 2001). But acupuncture was definitively helpful for me, and echoing an earlier poster, I think it would work for several sufferers.
Finally, there's been a lot of confusion from posters about their prognosis. My two cents, as best as I've been told & researched... Most people with this syndrome only get the first major attack, which could last 6+ months, but afterward go back to normal. I would get a twinge of arthritis in my ankle every now and then since 2001, but nothing that would keep me from jogging or other every day activities. They say 15-50% can have attacks every 2-3 years, but never as bad as the original one. Well, this recurrence for me was not as bad as my first. And a very small percentage will have chronic arthritis where they never fully recover. Here's something motivational I read from someone who appears to be in the latter group...
Best wishes and good luck to all!
Hi,I've had reactive arthritis since i was 19 (i'm now 26 years). at first i had neck and upper back pain, ankle & foot swelling & pain, my rheumatologist started my treatmet with sulfasalazine and noproxen and some othe pills which i dont remmember the name of them. after a year i was feeling better so i started asking my doctor about things i can do to reduce my pain, so he gave me a list of things i can do and things i cant ,
1. exercise (swimming, yoga,..)
2. no drinking
3. keep your joints warm
4. no junk food
5. enough sleep
6. comfortable shoes
7. your diet should include milk, fruits and vegetables, fish....
8. try not to eat spicy food
9. stay calm and try, not to get nervous
now after 7 years i figured out one thing: reactive arthritis has a cycle, the more you sit down the harder its going to get for you to stand up and walk.
i'm still taking sulfasalazine and indomethasin but now i dont have that much pain and i'm working as a product designer just like a healthy person.
RA is reactive so it will come back so dont try to fight it, try to live with it.
wish you all the best
After reading most of your posts, The final one hit the nail on the head for me, and I thought I would just share my story.
I was diagnosed with Reactive Arthritis 6 years ago, Mr specialist told me that for some it just goes after 6months, others a couple of years. But would need to be monitored as it may be early signs of Rheaumatoid Arthritis. For me 2 years later, alot of NSAID's, Blood tests & even surgery, over the space of only a couple of days it just went away, I finally felt normal and could walk properly for the first time... Even Dance!!
A year later I awoke to both knees completely swollen and me in fever. I had caught Ross River Virus (Very unlucky I know, but greatful as was Ross River and not Rheaumatoid) This time my specialist put me straight onto a steroidal drug which nipped the Reactive Arthrtis in the butt within a fortnight.
It is now is 3 years later and I have a beautiful baby girl (she's 2) and wore an old prepregnancy bra which caused Mastitis, and caused my good old Reactive Arthritis to flair up. It has now been 7 weeks with no sign of going away, at least this time it is only 1 knee.
Each time my flare ups have been coming into Winter (In Australia) July 2005, July 2008 & June 2011!
I am expecting that this is something I will always deal with, Especially now with the RR, as this is a virus that stays in your system, and I have an autoimmune condition that reacts to viruses and infections!
But I am also looking at the positive, that being aware of this, I am able to get bloods run every 6months, and will pick up any change to my RF, and prevent long term damage to my joints.
(ps. we never found out my initial cause, and we didn't check for Ross River at this time, so whether I had actually caught it back then, and 2008 was just a flare up of the RR we will never know.)
Sunshine Coast, Qld