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Foot pain can manifest in various forms, and one condition that often goes under the radar is sesamoiditis. While not as well-known as some other foot issues, sesamoiditis can be a source of persistent discomfort. In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of sesamoiditis, examining its causes, symptoms, and shedding light on how to manage and prevent this condition.

What is Sesamoiditis?

The sesamoids are two small, pea-shaped bones located beneath the big toe joint, embedded within a tendon. Sesamoiditis refers to the inflammation of these bones and the surrounding tissues, often resulting from overuse or repetitive stress.

Common Causes

  1. High-Impact Activities: Activities that put excessive pressure on the forefoot, such as running, dancing, or playing sports like basketball or tennis, can contribute to sesamoiditis.
  1. Improper Footwear: Shoes with inadequate support or those that force the foot into an unnatural position can increase the risk of sesamoiditis.
  1. Foot Structure: Individuals with a high arch or a naturally elevated position of the sesamoid bones may be more susceptible to sesamoiditis.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

  1. Pain: Persistent pain beneath the big toe, typically worsened by bearing weight on the foot.
  1. Swelling and Tenderness: Inflammation and tenderness around the sesamoid bones, often accompanied by visible swelling.
  1. Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty bending or straightening the big toe due to pain and stiffness.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect sesamoiditis, it's crucial to seek professional evaluation. Diagnosis may involve a physical examination, imaging tests, or even a bone scan to assess the extent of inflammation.

Treatment options may include:

  1. Rest and Immobilization: Giving the foot time to heal and reducing stress on the sesamoids.
  1. Icing: Applying ice to the affected area can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  1. Footwear Modification: Wearing shoes with proper support and cushioning, and avoiding high heels, can aid in recovery.
  1. Orthotics: Custom orthotic inserts can provide additional support and redistribute pressure on the foot.
  1. Physical Therapy: Specific exercises can help strengthen the foot muscles and improve flexibility.

Preventing Sesamoiditis

  1. Choose Appropriate Footwear: Select shoes that provide proper arch support and cushioning.
  1. Gradual Increase in Activity: Avoid sudden, intense increases in physical activity to give your feet time to adapt.
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can strain the sesamoid bones, contributing to inflammation.


Understanding sesamoiditis is crucial for anyone experiencing persistent foot pain, especially beneath the big toe. By recognizing the causes and symptoms, individuals can take proactive steps to manage and prevent sesamoiditis effectively.

If you suspect sesamoiditis, consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. Your feet play a vital role in your daily life, and addressing sesamoiditis promptly ensures you can continue moving comfortably and pain-free.

Striding Towards Relief: Understanding and Overcoming Sesamoiditis with Oklahoma Foot and Ankle Associates

Your journey to conquer sesamoiditis starts with understanding its nuances and seeking expert care. At Oklahoma Foot and Ankle Associates, our esteemed team of doctors—Drs. Gordon Bean, Armando Carro, Scott Morris, and Steve Walker—are committed to guiding you towards relief and optimal foot health.

If you're grappling with the discomfort of sesamoiditis, reach out to us. Contact our Edmond Office at (405) 340-9251 or our Moore/Midwest City Office at (405) 794-6691 to schedule an appointment. Our dedicated team is here to provide personalized solutions, ensuring your feet receive the care they deserve.

Visit our website for more information about our services, doctors, and resources aimed at supporting your journey to pain-free living. Take the next step towards comfort and mobility with the expertise of Oklahoma Foot and Ankle Associates.

Striding towards relief has never been more accessible—trust us to be your partners in overcoming sesamoiditis and rediscovering the joy of walking without pain. Your well-being is our priority, and we look forward to helping you put your best foot forward.

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