Enthesopathy is a condition that affects the tendons and ligaments in your body. If you feel pain around your joints, or feel tightness in an affected tendon or ligament, chances are it’s a sign of enthesopathy. It is important to understand what this pathology is and how to deal with it if you have been diagnosed with it. In this article, you’ll learn about the causes of enthesopathy, its symptoms, how they can be effectively treated, and self-care tips for managing the pain.

Enthesopathy: what is it?

Enthesopathy is a condition that affects the entheses, which are the points where tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues attach to the bones. It can cause pain, swelling and inflammation in these areas. It often affects several sites of the body at the same time. Common sites for enthesopathy are the shoulder, hip, spine, elbow, knee, and Achilles tendon on the back of the ankle.

What are the causes of enthesopathy?

Possible causes of enthesopathy include:

  • Repetitive overuse injuries, such as those seen in athletes or workers.
  • Repetitive strain injuries related to activities such as running or lifting weights.
  • Systemic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Metabolic problems like diabetes.
  • Genetic predisposition.

Enthesopathy: How to recognize it?

It can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, reduced range of motion, and difficulty moving the affected joint. Often the area is painful even when at rest or when not in use. In some cases, enthesopathy is accompanied by warmth and redness of the skin covering the affected area.

The severity of symptoms can vary from mild to severe depending on factors such as the location and the underlying cause of the enthesopathies. People may experience chronic pain that lasts more than six months or sharp, sharp, intense pain that gets better over time. Other symptoms such as weakness or numbness may also be present in some cases. Enthesopathic lesions can also lead to bony growths (osteophytes) visible on x-rays or other imaging tests. These bony growths can further restrict movement and worsen overall symptoms.

Enthesopathy: How can it be prevented?

Regular exercise:

Exercise strengthens muscles and tendons while helping to reduce stress. Low-impact activities like swimming, yoga, tai chi, and walking are all good choices because they help build muscle strength without putting too much strain on the joints. Flexibility exercises such as stretching also help prevent enthesopathy by increasing range of motion and reducing joint stiffness.

A healthy and balanced diet:

Diet also plays an important role in the prevention of enthesopathy. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains and protein can help maintain a healthy weight, which reduces pressure on the joints. Also, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids — like salmon and other fish — may reduce inflammation associated with enthesopathy. It is also recommended to take calcium supplements for bone health and vitamin D to maintain strong muscles and tendons.

Sufficient rest after physical exertion or overwork:

It is therefore essential to rest when necessary and to avoid overusing the joint areas, which can lead to further wear or damage. If you feel like you’re about to reach your physical limit, it’s best to stop before the pain or discomfort develops into something more serious, like enthesopathy. Other useful tips include:

  • Wearing supportive shoes during exercise or sports activities.
  • Avoidance of actions involving rapid twists or sudden movements.
  • Good ergonomics when sitting or standing.
  • Applying cold compresses several times a day.
  • The use of anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen if necessary.
  • Keeping warm in cold weather.
  • Using assistive devices like braces to support weak muscles around joints.
  • Consultation with a professional physiotherapist for a personalized plan.

By following these preventative measures, one should be able to significantly reduce the chances of developing enthesopathy. It is essential to report any symptoms associated with enthesopathy immediately so that treatment can begin immediately before it progresses to something more serious.

For those affected, what are the treatments envisaged?

Treatments for enthesopathy depend on the cause and severity of the condition. In mild cases, rest and physical therapy are often recommended to help reduce inflammation, strengthen muscles around the affected area, and improve mobility. A doctor may also suggest taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling.

If these measures do not resolve the problem, a corticosteroid injection may be given to reduce inflammation in the most important tendon attachment sites.

Surgery may be an option for people with severe enthesopathy that does not respond to other treatments. The goal of surgery is to release or remove tight tissue that is causing pain or preventing joint movement.

In some cases, a doctor will use ultrasound-guided needles to inject platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the affected area. PRP injections contain components of the patient’s own blood that can help stimulate healing.

Other alternative treatments for enthesopathy include acupuncture, dry needling, herbal medicine, and prolotherapy (injecting substances like glucose or sodium into the ligaments).

Although these alternative treatments have been used with some success in the treatment of enthesopathy, evidence of their effectiveness over traditional medications or other treatments is limited. As always, you should consult your GP before trying any new treatment option.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.