Entesopathy: what it is, causes and how treatment is done

Entesopathy or enthesitis is the inflammation of the region that connects tendons to bones, entesis. It happens more often in people who have one or more types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, which is an inflammation in the joints of people who have psoriasis. Understand what psoriasis is.

The most common enthesitis is calcaneus enthesopathy, in which there is a compromise of the calcaneus tendon, better known as the Achilles tendon, in which the person feels a lot of pain when touching the foot on the floor. In addition to the heel, other parts of the body may experience inflammation of the joints, such as the knee, back and hips. The diagnosis of enthesopathy is made by the orthopedist through the assessment of symptoms and, sometimes, imaging tests, such as X-rays.

Main causes

Enthesitis can be caused by trauma or injury during some exercise, but it usually arises as a result of some illness, such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease in which the joint is compromised, causing pain, redness, swelling, joint stiffness and difficulty in moving it. Learn all about rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Psoriatic arthritis, in which there is stiffness in the joints and difficulty in performing the movement. See what are the types of psoriatic arthritis and how the treatment is done;
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, in which the spine joints tend to come together, causing pain, loss of mobility and less flexibility in the spine. Find out what are the main symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis;
  • Gout, which is a disease caused by excess uric acid in the blood that can cause joint pain, especially in the toe. See what are the causes and how to diet for gout.

The diagnosis of enthesopathy is made by observing the lesion site and assessing symptoms. If the symptoms are not very clear, the doctor may request an image exam to confirm the diagnosis, such as X-ray, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.

Symptoms of enthesopathy

The symptoms of enthesopathy are related to the limitation of movement of the affected joint and can be:

  • Swelling and stiffness of the joint;
  • Sensitivity in the region;
  • Localized pain;
  • Temperature rise in place.

The pain of enthesopathy is variable and can cause only discomfort or prevent the movement of the injured joint.

Treatment for enthesopathy

Treatment for enthesopathy is done according to the severity of the symptoms and the injury. Usually the treatment consists of resting the injured area and using drugs with anti-inflammatory properties, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, for pain relief. Light stretching exercises can also be performed, under the guidance of a physiotherapist or orthopedist, in order to slightly decrease the pressure in the area.

Surgery is the last treatment option considered by the doctor and is only done when the injury is severe and the symptoms do not go away with the use of medications.