Reactive arthritis is also known as "post-infectious" arthritis.
Reactive Arthritis FAQ
What is Reactive Arthritis?
Reactive arthritis can cause inflammation in various joints throughout the body though it is most commonly found in the feet & toes. It usually occurs after an infection by certain bacteria (ie. E. coli bacteria), viruses or parasites. It is called reactive because it is caused by another condition (an infection or poisoning). The most common cause is a urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by E. coli bacteria.
How Long Does Reactive Arthritis Last?
Reactive arthritis can be very painful and will typically lasts for a couple of months though rarely longer than a few years. It can often be treated successfully once a proper diagnosis is received from your physician. Reactive arthritis can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes, as well as surgery in some cases. Your Doctor will work through a treatment plan with you based on your symptoms and diagnosis.
When Does Reactive Arthritis Start?
Reactive arthritis can start at any time. It may be a few days to a few weeks after an infection, or it may take months or even years. In some cases, reactive arthritis can start many years after an infection has ended.
Is Reactive Arthritis Common?
- Reactive arthritis is not very common. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people will get reactive arthritis. This means that if you live in the United States and are randomly selected as part of a study, there's only a 1% chance that you will have reactive arthritis.
- The condition is more common in men than women, but it still affects both sexes equally often (which would imply that the duration of reactive arthritis is longer in males perhaps). The reason for this has not yet been determined.
- Reactive arthritis can also develop after an infection of the large intestine (colon) or following surgery on your colon. Two significant examples of this are:
- People that suffer from Crohn's disease and need surgery for it.
- People that have undergone a proctocolectomy (removal of large intestine). This procedure is usually due to irritable bowel syndrome or cancerous growths on the intestine.
Reactive Arthritis Symptoms
Reactive arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain, swelling and redness in the joints. Is it painful? Yes, it can be very painful. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the joints - especially the knees
- Swelling of fingers & toes & sometimes ankles
- Redness around the joints
Reactive arthritis can also cause fever, night sweats, weight loss or fatigue. You may have an increased appetite but find it difficult to eat because of abdominal pain caused by reactive arthritis. Irritability is a common symptom of reactive arthritis.
Where On The Body Does Reactive Arthritis Occur?
Reactive arthritis most commonly manifests as pain, swelling and redness in joints though it can also affect your lower abdomen, genitals and skin.
Are There Specific Subclasses of Reactive Arthritis?
If you have an intestinal infection (for example, from food poisoning) and develop reactive arthritis in your knees or hips, this would be called enteropathic arthropathy.
If you get an urethral infection (a urinary tract infection) while traveling abroad and later develop reactive arthritis in your knees or hips - and even arms - it is known as tropical spondyloarthropathy syndrome (TSAS).
Can Reactive Arthritis Be Treated?
Reactive arthritis is a condition that can have a devastating impact on your life. However, there are treatments available and it's important to seek them out as soon as possible. If you think that you may have reactive arthritis or some form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), make sure to see your doctor immediately so they can help diagnose and treat the condition.
What Kind of Foot Do You Have?
It's easy to find out! Find some cardboard, dip your foot in water, and have fun making a 'foot print'. This is a simple and easy way of analyzing how much of your foot makes contact with the floor. Orthopedic insoles or Orthotic shoes are often recommended to ensure a more optimal walking technique and to support the feet appropriately if you suffer from hollow foot or flat footedness.
Normal Foot / Arch Position
If approximately 'half of your foot' stays in contact with the ground when you are walking, you have what is described as a 'normal' arch. The arch of your foot supports your body during ALL your daily activities.
Flat Foot / Low Arch Position
This describes a foot with a low arch, or even no arch. If someone has a flat foot, they can be prone to internal rotation of the foot, which can in turn lead to other problems in the body. Flat Footedness can occur over time, as the body experiences wear or tear but can also occur as a result of an underdeveloped arch during childhood. Needless to say it is a very common phenomenon.
Hollow Foot / High Arch Position
If the arch of the foot is too aggressively pronounced you may be diagnosed with Hollow Foot. This condition can cause instability during any kind of movement. High arches are much less common than having a flat feet and can arise due to issues with the nerves or bones.
Scar Tissue & Fibrotic Adhesions
All connective tissue is living tissue; tissue requires a blood supply and is continually in a state of regeneration. Any and all connective tissue has the potential for injury and inflammation. Injuries can be small such as in the case of a strain, or injuries can be large tears or even avulsions (complete tearing). Once an injury is experienced, the area will experience both inflammation and the growth of scar tissue (otherwise known as adhesions).
The occurrence of scar tissue is a regular part of life. Scar tissue forms as part of the progression after injury occurs. Scar tissue essentially 'fills in the gaps' after a cut, tear or wound presents itself in the body. Scar tissue is composed of the protein, collagen; it is widely known in the medical community that scar tissue is weaker and less flexible than original tissue.
- Normal/original connective tissue is made up of collagen, but this collagen is aligned in a specific direction with each strand in alignment. This results in the connective tissue having a strong tensile strength while also having excellent flexibility and extensibility.
- Scar tissue is made up of a 'criss cross/ random' formation of collagen and attaches to everything in the area. You can likely imagine the result of a patch of scar tissue; the effect is similar to pouring extremely sticky glue in your hair. It interrupts everything and is disruptive to the function of the connective tissue. The caveat is that the scar tissue does its job - it binds tears together. You definitely want the tear to heal, but it is important to ensure the scar tissue goes away despite the fact that it does not go away easily.
- After scar tissue forms, although the wound or cut is now closed (and less prone to infection), the area of tissue itself is inferior in functionality to what it replaced.
Continuous re-injury and build-up of scar tissue makes it more likely that you will wind up with chronic pain, reduced Range of Motion or even arthritis (permanent damage).
Heal Quickly to Minimize Scar Tissue Growth & Reduce Re-Injury Risk
For tissue injuries, it is important to heal quickly and completely; this will help minimize the build up of scar tissue. If you don't, your tissue injury may be the start of a long term chronic injury resulting in a loss of Range of Motion and joint atrophy.
The human body will use scar tissue as a temporary solution and will try to build the scar tissue as fast as possible to heal tears in soft tissue (muscles, tendons). Scar tissue can form fast to bring together the edges of a tear, but working fast doesn't mean that the job's done right. When scar tissue forms it doesn't come together as neatly as regular (healthy) tendon/ligament tissue would. Scar tissue fibers will lay down over top of your tear in a cluttered, messy and jumbled up way.
This is how scar tissue works - it is messy and inelastic. The scar tissue that forms in your soft tissue will be unorganized and won't line up properly with the healthy tissue surrounding the tear. This scar tissue will attach to everything in and around the tear including the surrounding healthy tissue as well. This results in a long-term fusing together of everything the scar tissue touches, reducing your ability to move and making the injury even more painful!
The longer a soft tissue injury remains, the more scar tissue is likely to build up in and around the injury location. This is why it is critical to treat your injury quickly without delay. Continuous re-injury and build-up of scar tissue while staying active or going back to work means you will experience a greater risk of winding up with on-going, chronic foot pain and overcompensation injuries to the hips, knee(s), and or back.
A Note On OverCompensation
Since you have read up to this point, you probably realize that serious foot pain will eventually wreak havoc on you due to lack of movement and over-compensation. It will also create trouble in other joints and muscles due to overcompensation. Recovery takes a longer time for such chronic (long term) injuries, but proper healing is essential to regain strength and get you back to the activities you enjoy.
The longer your injury endures, the greater the risk of running into serious overcompensation injuries.
To Stop Re-Injury & Reduce the Risk of a More Serious Overcompensation Injury, You Need to Heal Quickly & Completely!
Anyone in need of rapid recovery and complete healing must consider a comprehensive treatment plan that includes an effective means to minimize swelling and inflammation yet also stimulate healing and tissue elasticity. We have found no better set of tools that can be used at home than this:
Conservative Treatment Tools Our Clients Have Used to Help Limit Foot Damage & Boost The Body's Soft Tissue Repair Process at Home:
If you are truly looking for the home treatment options to reduce inflammation, increase range of motion, and treat the source of pain quickly, a conservative treatment protocol including the following are what we consider to be the most effective:
- A Cold Compress or Ice Pack to reduce inflammation wherever there is pain and/or swelling (as soon as possible).
- A Plantar TShellz Wrap® [or a Sesamoid TShellz Wrap® if the location is at the metacarpals or toes] to increase blood-flow to the targeted treatment area (a Localized Enhanced Circulatory Response® Treatment).
- MendMeShop Arnica Pain Cream for powerful, temporary relief of pain due to sore muscles and joints.
- Perhaps a High Quality Knee Pillow for comfort while sleeping, sitting and raising the foot.
- If you need compression, a Plantar Compression Band for compression and support in the foot - adjustable from heel to toe.
- An Exercise & Stretching Plan to prevent muscle atrophy, shortened tendons/ligaments/fascia. A proper plan will increase soft tissue elasticity and strength in the affected area.
Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of foot injury sufferers - just like you.
The TShellz Wrap®: Intended to Enhance Blood Flow in the Treatment Area
We believe the use of TShellz Wraps® for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap® treatment has helped in their recovery.
Increased Blood Flow Stimulates the Bodys' Ability to Heal
With regular use of the Plantar, Sesamoid and/or Achilles TShellz® Circulatory Boost Wrap:
- Your pain will be reduced*.
- Due to increased blood flow, soft tissue in the treatment area on the foot will be expected to recover at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury*.
- Tissue in the treated area should experience a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue* due to the heat effect on soft tissue. This should translate into a reduced rate of re-injury occurrence as soft tissue is known to lengthen and become more flexible when exposed to warm temperature. (*Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
*Know that every personal soft tissue injury is unique and the TShellz Wrap may not work for everyone. This is why we offer a 60-day money back return on all our TShellz Wrap devices.
When to use a TShellz Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation are reduced.
- BEFORE getting out of bed in the morning. BEFORE going to bed at night.
- BEFORE exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to warm up the foot and increase length & elasticity of muscles, ligaments & tendons at the base of the foot. Increased elasticity and length of soft tissue is intended to help reduce risk of of re-injury.
- AFTER surgery (once the skin wound has healed over and your physician approves) to boost blood circulation, helping surgically repaired tissues rebuild for long-term health and minimize scar tissue growth at the surgery location.
- Anytime BEFORE you feel you might undertake activity that will put significant strain on your foot.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to soft tissue in the foot to relax the area, relieve pain / spasms, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of tissue in the treatment area.
MendMeShop Achilles TShellz Wrap®
Suffering from Achilles Tendonitis? This wrap is designed to treat lower calf and achilles location specifically.
For consistently active people with chronic achilles injury history, (ie. skiers, runners) we recommend an Achilles TShellz Wrap treatment prior to activity for re-injury risk reduction.
MendMeShop Sesamoid TShellz Wrap®
This wrap is designed to:
- increase extensibility & flexibility of metatarsals/sesamoid/toe areas during treatment & for a short while after
- increase blood flow in the application area
- be used on the TOP or BOTTOM of the foot
MendMeShop Plantar TShellz Wrap®
Augment your recovery while reducing risk of re-injury. A Plantar TShellz application is intended to:
- increase extensibility & flexibility of bottom foot fascia during treatment & for a short while after
- increase blood flow in the application area
4 Key Points To Keep in Mind When Treating Plantar Fasciitis & Other Connective Tissue Injuries in the Foot
1: Make Sure That Complete Healing is Your #1 Goal
We all know that if the injury was healed, the pain would go away but what about the opposite situation? If the pain is gone, does that mean the injury is better? Unfortunately, this is not always true.
Too many people only focus on suppressing pain symptoms while providing less attention to the true healing aspects of the body. Experiencing less pain, while obviously a good short-term goal, never equates to underlying healing. Scar tissue can remain for months after one gets to a point of being relatively pain-free. However, as long the weak and brittle scar tissue remains, you are susceptible to re-injury or re-aggravation. Certain motions or movements can cause weaker tissue to easily tear - resulting in some reversal of the recovery up until that point.
This is why we recommend for people to continue with their doctor or therapist recommended exercises and to continue with mild treatments of the TShellz Wrap® for a period of time - to better ensure complete healing.
Ongoing treatments to enhance circulation are intended to soothe, relax and promote healing of damaged soft tissue in the application area. T•Shellz treatment also results in the ability of soft tissue to extend further due to the effect of heat on soft tissue. The more extensible your tissues are, the less likely they are to strain or sprain.
Soft tissue injuries are a race against time. The faster and stronger you heal tissue in your foot, the less chance there is for re-injury or other problems later on.
2: Resting Your Feet Will Help, But Only Temporarily
People tell us all the time, "I was told that if I rest for a few weeks, the pain will disappear for good." The truth is, pain is often a culmination of numerous factors, which often include repetitive stress, high load issues due to excess weight, and/or overcompensation issues resulting from other muscle and soft tissue ailments (ie. short leg syndrome). It may take weeks or months for these pain triggers to surface, but when they do, merely resting will not solve the underlying issues. You need to utilize options that actually treat the source of the pain and help reverse the damage that has been done.
Resting has a role to play, but it is only one small factor in a recovery plan.
3: Determine if There is A Deeper Underlying Cause To Your Problem & Fix It. Otherwise, It May Come Back
In order to get lasting relief, you need to identify all the factors that are contributing to your foot pain. An example of some factors that may or may not be relevant are:
- muscle imbalances
- pinched nerve(s) in the knee, ankle, hip or lower back
- short leg syndrome
- flat footedness
4: Know that Pain isn't the Only Proof You're Still Injured
Would you know you injured yourself if there was no pain? Probably not! Pain and swelling perform a useful role in letting you know that you did, in fact, injure yourself. Pain and swelling are what get you to seek out medical attention in the hopes of finding a way to reduce the pain and heal your injury.
Plantar fasciitis (PF) will likely cause extreme pain and according to studies, it is an indicator of chronic morbidity [meaning that PF is a statistical predictor of long term foot problems]. Be careful with pain-killers that mask the pain as overuse can give you a false sense that your injury is gone. Strive to reduce the inflammation and maintain or improve flexibility in the foot while avoiding re-injury to see a reduction in pain.
On-going TShellz Wrap® treatments at home, every day, are intended soothe, relax and promote blood flow to soft tissue. Consistent TShellz® Circulatory Boost Wrap treatments before activity or work will help warm up the area, increasing soft tissue elasticity & flexibility; this in turn will also reduce the risk of re-injury.
New Technology For The Best Therapy Available!
TShellz Wraps® are what we believe to be the most highly effective home medical devices out there - helping boost blood circulation, increase elasticity of soft tissue, reduce inflammation and minimize pain. It is a product we have developed specifically for this purpose. You can be certain it will do this, as we give full refunds if this is not the case.
The Energy Pad stimulates all the tissue beneath it evenly. The parts of your body that are healthy will rapidly respond with increased blood flow and there will be little sensation in that area. As your body continues to recover you'll also notice a decrease in pain and the range of motion in your foot should slowly start to improve. So not only does pain and inflammation go away, but with every treatment you can feel the difference - you can tell your injury is getting better.
TShellz Wraps®: Comfortable, Effective and Easy To Use
- TShellz Wraps® are very comfortable to wear. The shell is soft and very flexible. The edges are soft and will not irritate your skin.
- The Energy Pad within is also flexible like cloth so the entire unit conforms to your body.
- TShellz Wraps® are cut and sewn specifically to fit each part of the body so they fit comfortably. They come with velcro closures and are very easy to put on and take off.
- It is so easy to plug and un-plug you can stop and start your treatments with ease. This wrap is comfortable enough to wear all day long.
- The TShellz Wrap® is not affected by clothing. Wear it over or under - it is up to you.
TShellz Wraps® - Premium Quality, 100% Guaranteed!
Like all our products, TShellz Wraps® are high quality wraps you will find nowhere else. We have them for every part of the body. And, of course, we guarantee our wraps with the MendMeShop 60 day, money back guarantee. If you are not finding any improvement after using our TShellz product over a 60 day period, contact us for a full refund. We also provide a full year warranty on our TShellz Wrap® devices.
So, if you're really looking for an effective home therapy to treat torn or strained connective tissue; if you're looking to reduce inflammation, treat scar tissue, boost blood circulation and strengthen soft tissue, the TShellz Wrap® is what we recommend. We feel it is an exceptional home based approach to maximizing your soft tissue injury recovery process.
AidMyPlantar is committed to bringing you quality products for helping you relieve pain and boost blood flow to maximize your home recovery. These products are quickly revolutionizing the way the therapeutic industry thinks about soft tissue treatments and come highly recommended by our customers. If you have injured soft tissue that you want to deal with quickly, harness the power of your own body to heal itself and boost blood flow to the area, accelerating the body's own healing bio-mechanism.
Post Surgery Recovery
For Post-Surgery Recovery, cold is recommended by doctors to treat pain and swelling in a natural, non-addictive way.
After the incision site has healed, use our TShellz Wrap® home treatments to stimulate blood flow in the area. Using the TShellz Wrap® as soon as pain & swelling has reduced following your surgery will help minimize scar tissue growth that forms in soft tissue at the surgery site as you heal. Treating scar tissue is often one of the most important steps following surgery, especially the more invasive surgeries as they typically result in high growth levels of scar tissue. This is also why you should never skip phyical therapy appointments - their primary goal is to get you limber - much of the work in physical therapy is to break up scar tissue and get you mobile again; physical therapy is a crucial component in the recovery process.
Leaving post-surgery scar tissue untreated can lead to stiffness, chronic pain, osteoarthritis or other chronic conditions. You're more likely to end up with another injury if you choose not to deal with the scar tissue that develops in your soft tissue - this is why pretty much all post surgery recoveries involve physical therapy. The TShellz® Circulatory Boost Wrap encourages more oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area to help your body in its recovery process. An increase in blood flow should also help improve the strength of soft tissue in the area.
Our Formula is Proven to Work!
We are very confident our T•Shellz home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your injury by reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain, maximizing blood flow where it's needed most and increasing the flexibility, range of motion in the area.
Here at AidMyPlantar we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at AidMyPlantar has tested and used the products. Dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:
- Guarantee #1 - Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, I encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
- Guarantee #2 - You will not be left in the dark after purchasing any products from us. AidMyPlantar Advisers and Product Specialists are available 7 days a week by toll free phone 1-866-237-9608 or email to answer your questions or concerns.
- Guarantee #3 - Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours on every business day.
- Guarantee #4 - All purchases receive a one year, full replacement warranty with guaranteed, prompt service.
- Guarantee #5 - You could save hundreds of dollars and possibly more, by utilizing our products, and getting back to work sooner.
Yes, they are that good. See for yourself.
The TShellz Wraps® are FDA Registered Medical Devices, and are suitable for use in therapeutic clinics. Since they are completely safe for patients to use themselves as instructed, they are now available for use at home.
Once treatment is complete, you also have the option of tightening the straps to provide light compression support for your injured joint. You can also unplug the device from the power supply enabling you to move around the home, office or clinic freely and still use the wrap for support and comfort.
Product specialists are available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time Monday to Friday.
If any question or concern arises, call us or simply send us an email at any time (we check our emails constantly all throughout the day and night.. even on holidays!). We will respond as soon as possible.
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Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. All testimonials and comments reflect the real life experiences of individuals that used our products, however, individual results may vary. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they are right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition.
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 Cdc. (2023) National Statistics | CDC. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/national-statistics.html