Entheopathy: What it is, causes and how treatment is done


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Enthesitis or enthesitis is an inflammation that affects the region which connects the tendons to the bones, the enthesis. It mainly affects people who have had one or more types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, which is a type of inflammation of the joint normally in people who have psoriasis.

The most common type of enthesitis is calcaneus enthesopathy. This is where there is calcaneus tendon, commonly known as Achilles tendon, and it causes a lot of pain when the foot steps on the ground. Aside from the heel, other parts of the body may also be inflamed such as the knee, back and hip. The diagnosis of entheopathy is done by an orthopaedist by evaluating the symptoms and sometimes performing imaging such as X-ray.

Main causes

Enthesistis can be caused by trauma or an injury during a particular exercise. In most cases, it arises as a consequence of some diseases such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that causes pain in the joints, redness, swelling and stiffness as well as difficulty moving.
  • Psoriatic arthritis, causes difficulty moving and stiffness of the joints.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, in which the joints of the spine tend to join, resulting in a lot of pain, loss of mobility and less flexibility of the spine.
  • Gout, which is caused by excess uric acid in the blood causes joint pain especially in the toes.
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The diagnosis of entheopathy is done by observing the site of the lesions and evaluating the symptoms. If the symptoms are not clear, the doctor may perform imaging examinations such as X-ray, ultrasound and MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms of entheopathy

The symptoms of entheopathy are related to the limitation of the movement of the affected joint and may be:

  • Swelling and stiffness of the joint
  • Sensitivity in the region
  • Localized pain
  • Temperature rise at the site of pain

The pain caused by entheopathy varies and it may cause a lot of discomofrt or prevent movement of the injured joint.

Treatment for entheopathy

Treatment of entheopathy is depends on the severity of the symptoms and injury. It usually consist of rest of the injured region and using medications that contain anti-inflammatory properties such as aspirin and ibuprofen for pain relief. Light stretching exercises can also be performed under the guidance of an orthopaedist or a physiotherapist so as to reduce pressure at the affected region.

Surgery is the last resort considered by the doctor and it is only done when the injury is severe and the symptoms are not relived after using medications.


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Cornelius A.

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