How Podiatrists Can Help Treat Sesamoiditis In Athletes


High impact sports, long-distance running and other strenuous physical activity can put a great deal of strain on your feet, and athletes of all stripes are vulnerable to a variety of problems that affect the feet. Sesamoiditis can be one of the most debilitating, but podiatrists can help relieve the pain and immobility caused by this painful condition.

What Is Sesamoiditis?

Each of your feet contains two small bones, about the size of peas, that are located under the joints that connect the big toes to the rest of the feet. These bones are known as sesamoids and are connected to the tendons that allow your big toes to create downward pressure.

Running, jumping, dancing and other activities that require significant use of the big toes can cause significant damage to these sesamoid bones, as well as the tissues of the tendons they are attached to. Sesamoiditis occurs when the tendons attached to the sesamoids become damaged and inflamed and can also occur if the sesamoids are fractured by heavy impacts or repetitive use.

The main symptom of sesamoiditis is pain located underneath the ball of the affected foot, close to the big toe itself. This pain is exacerbated when you place pressure on the affected foot and generally becomes worse over time if the condition is not treated. You may also notice stiffness and loss of mobility in the big toe of the affected foot.

How Is Sesamoiditis Treated?

If you are suffering from pain and stiffness in your big toe and the ball of your foot, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible to have the cause of the problem diagnosed. Sesamoiditis cause similar symptoms to other foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, and usually does not cause any visible swelling or redness, so it is important to have the problem conclusively diagnosed by a foot health expert.

If you are suffering from sesamoiditis, you will be advised to reduce your physical activity for a while and possibly be offered anti-inflammatory medications. In many cases, these simple measures are enough to fix the problem. If not, your podiatrist can offer a number of treatments designed to take pressure off the damaged sesamoid bones and speed the healing process.

Orthotic shoe inserts are useful for taking pressure off the affected bones and tendons, allowing them to heal naturally. These shoe inserts are crafted by your podiatrist to fit the unique contours of your feet and can be worn inside your regular footwear.

In more serious cases, you may need to wear a cast or walking boot for several weeks. This will completely immobilise the joint containing the damaged sesamoids to promote healing. You may also be offered corticosteroid injections into the affected foot, which are very effective at reducing pain.

Contact a local podiatrist to learn more about this issue.


13 April 2021

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