One of the best ways of preventing sesamoiditis, as with many common foot conditions, is with the correct choice of footwear. Modern footwear such as sports sneakers give the feet plenty of room to move, allow the bones to line up correctly, and have a wide toe box so as not to cramp the toes.
Sneakers offer excellent underfoot cushioning, with EVA foam rubber midsoles helping to cushion the bones of the feet, and also aid the natural shock absorbing apparatus in the feet. Whilst the uppers may look in good condition, the underfoot cushioning degrades much faster and when the cushioning degrades the shoes fail to provide the correct level of shock absorption. If you go running or jogging on a daily basis, sneakers usually need to be replaced every 6 months, and even more frequently for the most active exercisers. Regularly replacing athletic shoes can go some way to ensure that the feet are given the level of shock absorption that is required.
As with many ball of foot problems, sesamoiditis is often caused by repeated pressure and stress on the ball of the foot. Any job which requires frequent crouching, lifting up on to the balls of the feet, or carrying heavy loads, will increase the pressure on the sesamoid bones. Ensuring that the sesamoid bones are properly cushioned will go some way to ensure that the problem is kept at bay. One of the best ways to provide extra cushioning is with the use of orthotic insoles, which can be easily fitted into most shoe types for improved cushioning. The insoles ensure that the feet are correctly positioned so as not to place an unnatural strain on the ball of the foot. Whilst custom orthotics may be required for people with severe gait irregularities, for most people an over the counter insole will be sufficient. There are many high quality brands which can be purchased which will help to provide the proper cushioning, with Spenco, Orthaheel, Sorbothane and Superfeet all excellent choices, and offer a robust construction which should last for a good 12 months before needing to be replaced.
Lynco insoles by Aetrex are arguably one of the best choices, as the design features a metatarsal bar to ease the pressure exerted on the ball of the foot, and the sesamoid bones. A metatarsal bar, or pad provides much improved cushioning for the ball of the foot, whilst the big toe is given less support. This has the effect of “floating” the sesamoid bones to ease the pressure placed on them when walking.
Orthotic insoles are also highly beneficial for providing increased arch support for people with high arches. High arched feet are less effective at providing the necessary shock absorption when walking, which can place an increased force on the sesamoid bones. By ensuring the arches are well supported, the stresses on the sesamoid bones are greatly reduced. Arch support socks and insoles are both highly effective at preventing sesamoid fractures and injuries for people with high foot arches.
One of the most common causes of sesamoiditis, especially with runners and joggers is overpronation. Pronation is the natural rolling of the foot when walking or running, when the foot rolling inwards slightly. Overpronation is an excessive rolling of the feet, which places greater strain on the sesamoid bones. If you are prone to overpronate when running, pronation control shoes and orthotic insoles are a good choice, which will help to correct the gait and ensure the feet move through a healthier and more natural roll. High quality running shoe manufacturers such as New Balance, Nike, Asics and Brooks all produce shoes which help to control pronation, for moderate to severe pronators they are a wise choice and will help to improve foot function and ease the strain on the sesamoid bones.