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Symptoms

The symptoms of reactive arthritis usually develop shortly after you get an infection, such as a sexually transmitted infection or bowel infection.

The main, and sometimes only, symptom of reactive arthritis is pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints and tendons.

It can also affect the:

However, not everyone will get symptoms in these areas.

You should see your GP as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms, especially if you have recently had diarrhoea or problems peeing.

Joint symptoms

Reactive arthritis can affect any joints, but it's most common in the knees, feet, toes, hips and ankles.

Symptoms include:

Genital tract symptoms

Sometimes, you can also have symptoms of a urinary tract infection. These include:

Eye symptoms

Occasionally, you may get inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis or, rarely, iritis).

Symptoms can include:

See an eye specialist or go to A&E as soon as possible if one of your eyes becomes very painful and the vision becomes misty.

This could be a symptom of iritis – and the sooner you get treatment, the more successful it is likely to be.

Other symptoms

Reactive arthritis can also cause: