Sesamoiditis Symptoms: Causes, Natural Remedies & Foot Exercises

Sesamoid bone is a tiny bone which is located in the tendon that runs along the big toe. The primary function of the bone is to act as a pulley and increase the leverage of the tendons in controlling the toe. Every action of push off against the toe will be associated with the involvement of the sesamoid bone to regulate its movements.

Sesamoiditis is a condition which is characterized by irritation of the tendon around the bone.

What Are The Causes Of Sesamoiditis?

Repeated pushing off the toe results in rubbing of the sesamoid bone with the tendon causing irritation and occasionally fracture. This irritation eventually leads to inflammation and sesamoiditis. Some of the leading causes include,

  • Sudden increase in the level of activities performed by an individual. Increased activity often puts excessive pressure on the ball of the foot which in turn makes it tender.
  • Other causes include hillwork, increase in mileage (especially among runners) and speedwork. It may also be observed among dancers.
  • Individuals with high arched foot, typically run on the balls of their feet, which in turn can also act as trigger for the condition.

Symptoms Of Sesamoditis

The condition is a form of tendonitis, which is associated with irritation and inflammation of the tendon and occasionally may be associated with injury or damage to the sesamoid bone. Some of the common symptoms include,

  • Pain, which increases gradually and is aggravated by continued activity. The pain is typically throbbing in nature.
  • The condition may be associated with bruising, local swelling and redness.
  • The pain may lead to distorted movements and affect the gait of the individual.

Natural Remedies For Sesamoiditis

In most cases, conventional treatment works effectively in the management of the condition,

  • Modified shoe or using a shoe pad can help reduce pressure on the bone and reduce the irritation of the tendon.
  • Some experts recommend the use of metatarsal pad which helps redistribute the weight around the different weight bearing points of the forefoot, thereby reducing pain and swelling.
  • Rest is considered very vital, especially if the pain is excruciating. It is recommended to tape the big toe and immobilize the joint, to allow it to heal. All activities that can lead to stress to the joint should be stopped for a while.
  • Local application of ice for about 10 to 15 minutes after simple sesamoid exercises can be very helpful.
  • Home remedies like turmeric and garlic act as anti inflammatory agents and help reduce the pain. Mix freshly crushed garlic flakes, with a table spoon of honey and some turmeric and consume it with warm water about twice a day. Avoid consuming this mixture on empty stomach, as it may lead to irritation in the stomach.

Foot Exercises For Sesamoiditis

Foot exercises should be performed only after the pain has reduced considerably. The objective of foot exercises is to help strengthen the tendon and improve the weight bearing ability of the big toe.

Lie on the floor and place a pillow under the calf to raise the forefoot. Now gradually move the big toe upward and downward and limit the movements if there is any pain. In addition to moving the toe up and down also move the big toe clockwise and anticlockwise. Note that while doing this, ensure that the movements happen at the level of the big toe and not at the ankle joint.

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