Foodborne Illnesses /

What Is Reactive Arthritis? Symptoms and Lawsuits

What is reactive arthritis? Formerly known as Reiter syndrome, reactive arthritis (ReA) is joint inflammation that occurs after a bacterial infection originating outside the joints (i.e., “extra-articular”). These infections are either gastrointestinal (e.g., Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Shigella, and sometimes E. coli) or urogenital (most commonly Chlamydia trachomatis, but also Neisseria gonorrhea and Mycoplasma). Reactive arthritis can also result in inflammation of the skin, eyes, and urethra. Acute ReA occurs several days or weeks after the antecedent infection. While reactive arthritis isn’t very common, individuals who do experience the condition report symptoms and signs that come and go, eventually going away within a year.

It is typically monoarticular (involving one joint) or oligoarticular (involving just a few joints, usually less than six). The lower extremities are most commonly involved, but it can also involve the arms and spine. Other names for ReA are post-infectious arthritis, post-dysenteric arthritis, and seronegative arthritis. When it lasts more than six months, it is called chronic reactive arthritis. Signs and symptoms generally begin one to four weeks after exposure, resulting in pain and stiffness, swollen toes and fingers, eye inflammation, tendon and ligament inflammation, and lower back pain. Reactions occur due to an infection in the body, usually in your genitals, urinary tract, or intestines. Some reactions occur due to infections transmitted sexually or through foodborne illnesses.

Reactive arthritis occurs most often in adults between the ages of 20 and 40. While men are more prone to developing reactive arthritis through sexually transmitted bacteria, women are more often exposed through foodborne infections. Lastly, a rare genetic marker can link to reactive arthritis, but most people who have the marker don’t have this condition. At-home prevention is fairly straightforward and involves proper food storage temperatures and cooking food properly. But preventing exposure through food poisoning in restaurants, name-brand products, and foodborne outbreaks isn’t as simple.

Marler Clark has provided over 30 years of food safety law and knowledge to the public. We take pride in being a leading expert in food safety regulation, representing thousands of individuals who fell victim to food poisoning and food-related illnesses. Our history of successful cases against various large corporations, including McDonald’s, Nestle, Dole, and more, have made us a reliable, trustworthy representative for clients. We pride ourselves on being a valuable source of information on foodborne outbreaks, cases, and illnesses. Our history of working with foodborne illnesses and food safety regulations has made us privy to reliable information that can help clients who may need guidance.

If you live with symptoms of reactive arthritis or need somewhere to turn, Marler Clark can guide you. For more information about what reactive arthritis is and whether you need a professional food illness-related lawyer, contact our specialists today.

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Reactive Arthritis Resources

We have worked with epidemiologists to bring education about Reactive Arthritis to everyone.

Reactive Arthritis litigation at Marler Clark

The Marler Clark Reactive Arthritis attorneys are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

Our expert Reactive Arthritis attorneys have represented victims of notable Reactive Arthritis outbreaks. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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Marler Clark's food litigation attorneys have the most extensive experience representing victims of food poisoning outbreaks of any law firm in the United States.

Bill Marler and his team demonstrated a clear passion for their work and diligently ran to ground all of the details and nuances surrounding our family's case. The Marler Clark team managed our expectations extremely well, making sure that we were prepared at each step in the process and knew that there would be frustrating times along the way. On top of the impeccable professionalism, we formed friendships with Bill and Julie, and they introduced us to other clients who were going through similar experiences to our own, all of which was therapeutic and reminded us that we were not alone. And last but not least, we achieved success -- there is no substitute for subject matter expertise and years of experience! Thanks again Bill, Julie, and the entire Marler Clark team!

Bob & Emily S.

All of the people at Marler and Clark were very attentive to our needs and concerns. We would highly recommend their law firm for any legal advice regarding food safety. They are very transparent and will make contact with you in a timely fashion.

Amy G.

My wife and I can't thank Bill Marler and everyone at Marler Clark enough for how well they looked after us in our time of need. Bill visited us while our son was in the hospital and he, or his staff, were in contact with us every step of the way. Everyone at Marler Clark was caring and compassionate about our situation while working on our behalf. Even after our case was settled, Bill has checked in with us from time to time, wanting to know how our son was doing.

Dennis K.