person experiencing sesamoiditis

The sesamoids are special bones in the body. They’re not connected to any other bone at the joint. Instead, they act as pulleys to aid tendon movement. Two of these sesamoids are present under the forefoot near the big toe.

Sesamoids in the forefoot help with weight-bearing and lift up the bones of the big toe. But when the tendons around the sesamoids get inflamed, this condition is called sesamoiditis. This ailment is common among baseball players and runners. Let’s learn about the symptoms and causes of sesamoiditis, as well as how you can treat this condition at home.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

It’s important to note that the sesamoid bones can either become fractured or have sesamoiditis. The main difference is in the way you feel pain.

If you have sesamoiditis, here are some of the symptoms you may observe:

  • Difficulty and pain in straightening or bending your big toe
  • Pain directly below the big toe on the ball of the foot
  • Pain that starts gradually, unlike a fracture that triggers instant pain
  • Swelling around your big toe

Since sesamoiditis develops gradually, you may feel a dull pain at intervals during the day. This pain occurs at the base of the foot and toes. Sometimes the pain makes you limp or transfer your weight to the other foot to relieve pain in the affected foot.

Seven Ways to Treat Sesamoiditis at Home

In most cases, your sesamoiditis can be treated at home. Some of the best treatment methods include:

  1. Reduce or stop activities that are causing the pain, including sports and running
  2. Take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation
  3. Apply ice for 10 minutes every 3 hours to reduce swelling
  4. Wear low-heeled, soft-soled shoes
  5. Add an insole to provide additional cushioning inside your shoes
  6. Refrain from wearing high-heeled shoes to prevent future irritation and inflammation of the tendon
  7. Wear shoes that provide adequate support when you resume normal activities

It usually takes about six weeks for home sesamoiditis treatment to completely relieve pain. However, if you experience severe pain in your big toe, you need to visit your orthopedic doctor for treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe:

  • A corticosteroid injection to stop inflammation of the tendon
  • A leg fracture brace to decrease pressure and pain

Learn More About Treating Sesamoiditis

If you have pain in your big toe, call OrthoBethesda for more information about how to treat sesamoiditis. You can speak to one of our specially trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating the foot. We offer warm, friendly and thorough patient care to all our clients, and we use the most modern techniques to treat leg, foot and ankle ailments.