Running events seem to be gaining popularity. Mud runs, fun runs, 5K’s and marathons are occurring all over the valley. The heat of summer does not stop the Arizonans from running either. We find ways to continue running by escaping to Northern Arizona for events like Gaspin’ in the Aspin’s in Flagstaff or Jerome Hill Climb in historic Jerome, Arizona. With so much running, you may be experiencing pain in your foot. This pain may be related to your sesamoid bone underneath your big toe joint, a conditional termed sesamoiditis.
Lets clear the mud, what is sesamoid bone anyway? A sesamoid is a small bone embedded in a tendon that aids in mechanical motion of that joint. One of the biggest examples of a sesamoid bone is the knee cap. Your knee cap, or patella bone is the largest sesamoid bone in the body. Underneath your big toe joint lays two sesamoid bones. Sesamoiditis is when these bones become irritated and inflamed.
What kind of activities would cause this inflammation and irritation? Think of repetitive activities where there is significant weight bearing on the ball of your foot. Examples include ballet-dancing, basketball, running and even spending more time on your feet can set off sesamoiditis.
Symptoms and Causes
- Dull and tender pain under the big toe joint
- Pain comes and go’s with different activities and footwear
- Pain after increasing activity level
- High arches can lead more pressure on the big toe joint
Treatment for sesamoiditis typically involves resting the affected foot by decreasing the amount of activity that caused the issue. Other conservative treatments include padding or taping the affected foot, immobilizing the foot, icing, physical therapy, and orthotics or shoe modifications. More aggressive treatment includes anti-inflamatories, such as ibuprofen or cortisone injections. In rare cases if conservative and noninvasive treatments fail, removing the sesamoid bones may be indicated.
While sesamoiditis may or may not be the cause of your foot pain, it is important to stayed tuned and listen to your feet. If you notice any changes in their foot health, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.