Reactive Arthritis | Treatment


How is reactive arthritis treated?

Your doctor may give you a medicine for pain and swelling. You may also need antibiotics if you have an STI caused by bacteria. If you have an STI, it's important that you and your sex partner get tested and treated to keep the STI from coming back.

The good news is that for most people, reactive arthritis goes away in 3 to 4 months. For a few people, the joint pain comes back again and again. If this happens to you, talk with your doctor about what can be done.

What can I do to get better?

  • Take your medicines.
  • If you have an STI, have your partner(s) tested.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Reduce your risk of getting food poisoning by cooking meat completely, washing utensils and surfaces well and keeping food cold so it doesn't spoil).
  • Do light exercises (ask your doctor what you can safely do).


Reactive Arthritis (Reiter's Syndrome) by WF Barth, M.D. and K Segal, M.D. (American Family Physician August 01, 1999,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 08/99