Sesamoiditis is a common ailment that affects the forefoot, typically in young people who engage in physical activity like running or dancing. Its most common symptom is pain in the ball-of-the-foot, especially on the medial or inner side. Sesamoid bones are tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. Like the kneecap, the sesamoids function as a pulley, increasing the leverage of the tendons controlling the toe. Every time you push off against the toe the sesamoids are involved, and eventually they can become irritated, even fractured. Because the bones are actually within the tendons, sesamoiditis is really a form of tendinitis.
Sesamoiditis typically can be distinguished by its gradual onset. The pain usually begins as a mild ache and increases gradually as the aggravating activity is continued. It may build to an intense throbbing. In most cases there is little or no bruising. One of the major causes of sesamoiditis is increased activity.
Bony feet may not have enough natural fat to protect the tender sesmoids. In addition, people with high arches naturally run on the balls-of-their-feet, adding even more pressure.
Appropriate footwear protects, supports and cushions the area against re-injury. Socks can offer additional padding and protection. A Supportive Cushioning insole with metatarsal padding can offer even more additional cushioning.