The sesamoid bones are two small free-floating bones that are in the ball of the foot. They are involved in absorbing pressure and stress and also contribute to proper toe movement. The sesamoid tendons are the connectors between the sesamoid bones and muscles in your foot. When these bones and tendons are irritated from overuse, severe pain and discomfort are often it results in a condition called sesamoiditis. If this condition continues without proper treatment, it can cause the big toe to become extremely stiff.

Sesamoiditis affects athletes, dancers, and people who spend a lot of time walking on hard surfaces for their jobs. If you have untreated high arch problems, then you are also more susceptible. Wearing high-heeled shoes and other poorly fitting footwear are also factors.

Some conservative treatments for sesamoiditis include the following:

1)    Stop doing the activities that are causing the pain and try lower-impact pursuits.

2)    Apply an ice pack to the area several times a day for ten minutes at a time.

3)    Ibuprofen or Tylenol will reduce pain and swelling.

4)    Gentle massage and manipulation will also provide relief.

5)    Wear soft-soled shoes.

6)    Orthotic inserts and isolating pads can shift weight from the area.

Sesamoiditis that doesn’t respond to the above methods will likely worsen without further treatment, so be sure to see your foot care specialist. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas) is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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