Sesamoiditis Injuries in the Foot

What Is A Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis InjuriesSesamoiditis is a health condition that involves inflammation in the sesamoid bones of the feet, which is most common in young people that take part in physical activities such as dancing or football.

The pain of sesamoiditis is beneath the head of the 1st metatarsal; the pain is usually made worse by ambulation and may be worse when wearing flexible thin-soled or high-heeled shoes.

Because sesamoiditis is an inflammatory condition, treatment directed at reducing inflammation is often helpful. Here’s a video explaining more about Sesamoiditis.

Pain Under The Ball Of The Foot – Sesamoiditis?

Hi Lisa! This is great what you are doing! My students all at one time or another have and are currently suffering from pain under the ball of their foot. The physio’s have said just to rest but of course they can’t with exams etc. what is this and how can we treat it and them prevent this? Thanks for all the great work you are doing Lisa.Tina. 

Hi Tina! Many students have issues underneath the ball of the foot and there are few reasons for this…

1)    Sesamoiditis – If the pain is underneath the big toe, this may be irritation of the tissues around the sesamoid bones. These are two little bones under the base of the first metatarsal that provide a tunnel for the FHL tendon to pass through, but they often get irritated with loaded work on demi pointe.

SesamoiditisIf it is this, they will be tender to touch right over the area and especially if they roll in on demi pointe. Along with icing and careful use of anti inflammatories, padding in a doughnut shape over the area can help get them through the show, until they have time to deal with the true cause. Often the deeper cause of irritation in this area is actually stiffness in the joint at the top of the first metatarsal – where it joins the medial cuneiform bone, resulting in increased load on the head of the first metatarsal with walking and dancing. Often mobilisation of this area results in less load on the sesamiods especially with normal walking.

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Causes of sesamoiditis are usually due to repetitive stresses or microtrauma to these bones and their related structures, mainly the big toe joint.  Treatment for sesamoiditis is almost always noninvasive.

What is the Treatment for Sesamoid Injuries?

Treatment for Sesamoid injuries and Sesamoiditis is almost always noninvasive and surgery is rarely necessary but may be an option if conservative options fail. Our first goal is to reduce pressure on the Sesamoid bones.

Common treatment therapies for Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Temporary walking cast to relieve pressure
  • Custom orthotics or arch supports
  • Proper shoes
  • Shoe modifications
  • Ice therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Non-weight bearing period
  • Physical therapy
  • Padding or strapping

In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended as a last resort, though this is rare.

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Many cases of sesamoiditis can heal completely with careful treatment.

The treatment for sesamoiditis will not require surgical intervention. It will vary depending on the severity of your case. Continued use of the foot during a bout of sesamoiditis will only result in the inflammation becoming more severe, so a period of strict rest is necessary.

If you are suffering from severe pain in your foot,  call to schedule an appointment:  (619) 831-8777.

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.