Ball of Foot Pain May Be Sesamoiditis

There are two tiny bones in each of your feet called sesamoid bones that float under your foot near the big toe and are connected to the surrounding structure only by tendons. These bones are essential to bearing your weight and to moving muscular forces across the tendons that connect to the toes. Your body uses them most in activities such as hiking, stair-stepping, running and climbing.

When the sesamoid tendons become inflamed and irritated from overuse it can cause pain in the ball of the foot that tends to start gradually but eventually worsens and may lead to the big toe becoming rigid and difficult to bend. Bruising and tenderness may also be evident.

People with high arches and those that spend a lot of time walking on hard surfaces for work are more susceptible to this condition. It also disproportionately affects ballet dancers due to all the constant pounding on their feet and the wearing of toe shoes.

Treatment for Sesamoiditis

Some of the immediate steps you can take include:

●Stop the activity that is causing your sesamoid inflammation

●Ice the area several times a day

●Tylenol or ibuprofen may be taken for pain and swelling

● A soft-soled shoe like sneakers or moccasins may remove some pressure from the ball of your foot

● A foam rubber pad can provide extra support and insulation for the sesamoids

Sesamoiditis can take a long time to heal and it’s very important to stay away from activities that add too much pressure and stress to the ball of the foot until the swelling and pain have subsided.

Sesamoiditis is difficult to address on your own and may worsen without the proper treatment, so it’s important to see your podiatrist for guidance and recommendations.

At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.