Anyone dealing with chronic and intense pain in the ball of their foot may be suffering from a case of sesamoiditis. This is a relatively common condition that results from the inflammation and irritation of the tiny sesamoid bones and surrounding tissues and ligaments. Sesamoiditis treatment is usually straightforward, and with rest the best way to ease pain. Metatarsal bars and orthotic insoles can be highly beneficial for sesamoiditis treatment.
There are many reasons why this condition can occur, some of which are preventable, others that are not and are down to defects in the bones themselves, or most often with people who are born with enlarged sesamoid bones. Having bony feet puts you at more risk for sesamoiditis as you have less foot padding to absorb the shocks when walking, and as these bones are weight bearing, any condition which causes weakened bones, such as osteoporosis can leave people more prone to the condition.
Sesamoiditis can be caused by a sudden increase in the amount of exercise being undertaken, particularly with regard to high impact activities such as running and jumping. The problem need not result from a single trauma, and over time the bones can become damaged or weakened, or the condition can develop over a number of weeks. Wearing any footwear which places greater pressure and stresses on the ball of the foot and toes, is a significant contributory factor in the development of the condition. High heeled shoes, those with a narrow toe box, or very short toe box can all increase the strain on these pea sized bones.
Sesamoiditis treatment is possible in the comfort of your own home, and pain can be relieved with low cost corrective devices. Home diagnosis of the condition is possible, although you should seek the advice of a physician or podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. Sesamoiditis treatment is usually as simple to administer as putting an insole or pad into your shoes.
Rest and Take Something for the Pain
Especially when an injury to the sesamoid bones is the result of an increase in exercise, rest really is the best medicine. The sesamoid bones can easily become inflamed, as can the surrounding tissues, and each further step you take will only make it worse. It is vital that you take a few days away from activity, put the feet up and take rest to allow the inflammation to go down. By taking NSAID’s such as Ibuprofen or Advil, you can also help to reduce the inflammation, while also reducing the pain at the same time.
Ice the Sesamoid Bones
Icing an injury that is a result of inflammation is one of the best ways to treat these types of injuries, and for health it is preferable to taking NSAID drugs, and with sesamoiditis treatment it is no exception. Up to 4 times a day, ice the affected area for up to 15 minutes at a time. Not only will this help to reduce the inflammation of the affected area, but it will also provide some much needed pain relief and help any swelling to go down.
Choose Flat Shoes
This is hardly ever a best practice recommendation, but whilst dealing with a bout of sesamoiditis, it can be helpful to wear flat shoes. While this is never good for the feet in the long-term, doing this in the short-term will allow you to obtain some pain relief when you cannot avoid walking, as the sesamoid bones will not be taking a lot less of the shock that they normally have to. A metatarsal pad is inserted into the shoes will help to cushion the sesamoid bones when walking and ease the pain.
One of the best ways to prevent the condition from developing is to wear good quality sports shoes, and to replace them frequently as the cushioning breaks down, generally every 6 months if you run every day.
Wear an Orthotic Insole
This is one of the most cost effective ways of ensuring that the condition does not become a problem in the first place, but also to help prevent any recurrence of an existing condition. Orthotic insoles correct the walking gait, bio-mechanically altering the stride to ensure that the bones and muscles are properly aligned, and the feet are properly cushioned. There are several excellent over the counter orthotic insoles to choose from, with Superfeet, Sorbothane, Orthaheel, Sof Sole, Powerstep and Spenco being some of the best choices for sesamoiditis treatment. Choose a full length model, as the bones need to be cushioned, or use a metatarsal pad or metatarsal bars to ease the force acting on the sesamoid bones.
If you are unsure on the best insoles to purchase, look for any that are accredited by the AMPA; the American Podiatric Medical Association.