Sesamoiditis is a common condition of the forefoot which causes pains underneath the big toe joint. The sesamoid bones are tiny bones within the tendons which run to the big toe. These bones help to absorb impact forces in the forefoot and help with bending of the big toe when walking. Pain from this condition can be a mild ache or can be an intense throbbing. The pain is often intensified by movement of the big toe joint. Inflammation around the sesamoids may also be present.
Sesamoiditis is caused by activities which put more stress and pressure on the sesamoid bones. This can include activities such as sports – causing repetitive loading in the ball of the foot (i.e. dancing, sprinting) and sudden increases in activity level. Incorrect footwear and biomechanical factors such as high arched feet and over pronation can also be contributing factors.
At Mint Foot Care Podiatry, we diagnose this condition by taking a comprehensive history, performing a biomechanical assessment and video gait analysis. The podiatrist may prescribe diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or an ultrasound.
Based on the findings a combination of treatment options may be prescribed including:
- Rest and Ice – keeping off the foot and reducing activity prevents further injury and encourages healing. Ice can reduce inflammation, swelling and symptoms.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication – help reduce the pain and inflammation such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
- Footwear recommendations.
- Custom orthotics.
- Ultrasound therapy.
- Prescribed strengthening exercises.