Reactive arthritis syndrome, formerly known as Reiter's syndrome, is one of the forms of spondyloarthropathy, a type of inflammatory arthritis. This is a form of arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, and it carries its own set of signs and symptoms. The doctor will look for skin rashes, gastrointestinal or urinary problems, eye inflammation, mouth sores, and involvement of joints of the arms or legs, in addition to back pain.
Reactive arthritis is treated similarly to ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, with sulfasalazine and methotrexate, and, if necessary, TNF-alpha blockers. If there is any clue to infection at the time the arthritis starts, such as infectious diarrhea or infection of the genitourinary tract, these conditions will be treated. However, even with treating the underlying infection, reactive arthritis can continue. This is because reactive arthritis is an inflammatory reaction to an infection, and the inflammation can continue after the infection is gone.