Big Toe Pain and Runners

May 6, 2015

seasamoiditis

As the spring weather shifted, runners were getting more noticeable out on the streets and were itching to “Just RUN!”. With this increase in activity after a few treadmill months during the winter, it is common to see even the most avid runner go through some aches and pains until they get accustomed to running on harder surfaces again. One of the common injuries that we see in our clinicc is sesamoiditis (inflammation of the sesamoid bones).

Anatomy

The term sesamoid is defined as a bone embedded within a tendon.

The two sesamoid bones in the feet are located right under the head of the great toe joint. They are very small accessory bones that are embedded within the tendon of the flexor hallucis brevis. They help to protect the tendon from friction and to improve its mechanical function.

Injury

Most often the sesamoids are injured when there is a high impact injury to the area. They can, however, get irritated when there is a repetitive strain force placed on them from improper foot mechanics.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of sesamoiditis is pain. The pain is mostly under the 1st metatarsal (great toe) joint. It is tender when there is load stress added to the area. The pain is also noticeable when the toe is put into forceful dorsiflexion (as in toeing off while running). The altered biomechanics that you adopt to avoid pain often causes lateral forefoot issues and can lead to knee, hip, and lower back pain as well.

Treatment

There are many different treatment approaches that all have a common goal in mind; relieving pressure and strain to the inflamed area. Here are some common approaches to addressing sesamoiditis:

•Taping – This can be done to help limit dorsiflexion or bending through the great toe to help reduce tension on the tendon that the sesamoids are embedded in.
•Medication – As this is an inflammatory condition, an anti-inflammatory can be taken to help reduce the symptoms. (Consult your physician before taking any medications)
•Orthotics – Custom Made Foot Orthotics made by a Certified Pedorthist can be designed to unload the pressure from the area and also help to alter the compromised mechanics that may have lead to the condition.
Those are just a few treatment approaches that may help with the alleviation of symptoms caused by sesamoiditis. Before taking any action to treat a medical condition get in touch to see if we can help.