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Causes of Sesamoiditis

By Edited Jun 23, 2015 0 0

To those of you unfamiliar with Sesamoiditis causes, this article is for you.  Sesamoiditis is an ailment that is quite common, especially amongst runners, dancers, baseball catchers and people with osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis.  Sesamoiditis is an ailment that affects the sesamoid bones.  The result of the ailment is a dull lingering pain just behind the joint of the big toe, above the ball of ones foot.  There are many causes for sesamoiditis, so let’s go through them one by one.

 

Before we get to the causes of sesamoiditis, it would make sense to describe the ailment in some more detail. First, let’s talk about what the sesamoid bone is.  Sesamoid bones are small independent bones which grow within tendons passing through joints.  Sesamoiditis is a disease that is therefore caused by the inflammation of the sesamoid bone.  The bones themselves act as a pivot point around the movements of the big toe.  They are extremely small, usually the size of a pea or a bean.  Inflammation and pain are common indications of sesamoiditis.  There have been cases where over time, the inflammation and pain have caused new bones to grow. 

sesamoid bone

 

The first potential cause of Sesamoiditis is overuse.  Overuse can mean different things to different people.  As previously mentioned, overuse can be caused by Dancing, Squatting, Excessive Running or Wearing Heeled Shoes.  Before you can understand why these activities cause sesamoiditis, you have to understand where the sesamoid bones are located.  The sesamoids are situated just behind the big toe joint and just above the ball of your foot.  The operative term here is the “ball of the foot.”  Each of these activities place undue pressure for prolonged periods of time on the ball of the foot.  The sesamoid bone was built to withstand the pressure from running or walking, but not necessarily from prolonged squatting, jumping or wearing heels.  The sum total of the pressure placed on these bones can create micro fractures which in turn flare up and cause inflammation around the sesamoid bone.  The bones themselves, unlike other bones in the body are held in place by tendons rather than connected to other bones.  In turn, flare ups are more painful since the tendons surrounding the bone are the first to be affected.  Not to mention, the simple act of walking puts pressure directly on the sesamoids.

 

The second potential cause of sesamoiditis is age and degeneration.  Bone weakening can occur due to osteoporosis for instance, which causes the sesamoids to become vulnerable to repeated impact.  As the bones themselves weaken, and lose calcium, they will begin to develop micro-fractures.  These micro-fractures will cause inflammation, swelling and pain from just daily use.  Osteoarthritis is another potential age related cause of sesamoiditis.  Osteoarthritis oftentimes is correlated with the growth of small bone spurs on the sesamoid bone.  These bone spurs can become an irritant to the surrounding tissue and tendons that hold the bone in place.  This results in inflammation, swelling and pain as well. 

 

The last potential cause for sesamoiditis is hereditary.  Like any other ailment, sesamoiditis can be passed down from generation to generation.  Not a nice present from you mom or dad, right?  There are a handful of foot defects that are known to directly relate to the onset of sesamoiditis.  The first is a condition of enlarged sesamoid bones.  A person born with sesamoid bones that are larger than normal will experience pain from day one.  The enlarged bone size will attract more direct pressure than the bones were built to absorb.  This disproportionate amount of body weight distribution on the sesamoid bones will lead to bone deterioration.  This in turn leads to inflammation and pain.  Another potential hereditary cause for sesamoiditis is overpronation.  Overpronation is a condition that can be caused by a fallen or collapsed foot arch.  The collapsed arch causes the foot to roll inward during the gait process rather than absorb the contact.  This rolling affect not only puts pressure on knees and ankles, but also puts excess pressure on the big toe.  As we learned earlier, the big toe is connected to the sesamoid bone, so any excess pressure here will cause discomfort after prolonged engagement. If you are experiencing pain, I recommend that you try out the Silipos Softzone Pure Gel Gel Metatarsal Pad.

 

Sesamoiditis is a disease that most people do not pay proper attention to.  For one reason or another, the feet are the last place people go in terms of scheduling visits with physicians.  The feet however are our contact point with the world.  We use them to move freely and they should be a focal point of our medical attention.  You would not ignore the tires on your car, would you?  I do not think so.  So why would you ignore your feet?  It is discouraging to recognize the fact that although high heeled shoes or prolonged squatting can cause irreparable foot damage; people continue to do these things every day.  Hopefully this article has provided you with the information necessary to make good decisions when it comes to the health of your feet.

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