Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the sesamoid bones, which are those not connected to other bones. Rather, sesamoid bones are embedded within tendons, bundles of cords that connect muscles to bones. Your sesamoid bones are your kneecaps and are also located in your hands, wrists, and feet. The sesamoid bones in your feet are in the tendons connected to your big toes.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Bony feet without enough fat to cushion your feet as you move
  • High-arched feet, which increases the instances of putting pressure on the balls of your feet as you walk or run
  • Increased walking or running that leads to an increase in pain

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

  • Gradual increase in pain in your big toes or on the balls of your feet (fractures will cause immediate pain)
  • Pain when bending or extending a big toe

Treatments for Sesamoiditis

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid injections administered by your podiatrist
  • Ceasing the activity that is causing the increase in pain until you can visit your podiatrist; especially avoid placing pressure on the balls of your feet
  • Custom-made orthotics -NOPA offers more than 150 unique varieties
  • Ice the balls of your feet using an ice pack or towel in which to wrap the ice; do this for 10-15 minutes after exercising if you're experiencing pain after working out
  • Rest
  • Stretches (see below)
  • Wearing cushioned pads to relieve stress on your feet
  • Wearing soft-soled, low-heeled shoes

Stretches for Sesamoiditis Treatment

  • After the worst of the pain has subsided and the sesamoid has begun to heal, sit with your knee straight and hold the foot position for as long as possible. Flex your foot towards your body.
  • Calf stretches
  • Hamstring stretches

Prevention of Sesamoiditis

  • Buying new workout shoes, especially if your current ones no longer provide good shock absorption
  • Custom-made orthotics
  • Strengthening foot and ankle muscles
  • Using inexpensive, shock-absorbing insoles

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