Sesamoiditis is an injury that affects many athletes who begin an intense training regimen. The Sesamoiditis running injury is technically the pain experienced on the big toe's side of the ball of the foot. There are a group of bones called the Sesamoid that control the big toe. As you push off your big toe receives the most pressure out of all the toes and repeated use can strain the bones controlling the toes and the tendons associated with this. This manifests as a pain in the ball of the foot, the area where the Sesamoid is located.
This running injury can occur when you're just starting up and you work the foot too hard. The repeated pressure on that part of the foot will build up especially when your body is not ready for it. This can also happen during times when you run more frequently or when you try to extend your runs farther than what your body is ready for. The pain can come on suddenly during a run or afterwards or it can develop as a gradual ache and grow into an excruciating pain.
How to Treat Sesamoiditis
There are several things that you can do to help recover from a Sesamoiditis running injury. The best thing to do is to be aware and prevent Sesamoiditis from ever happening. This involves things such as start exercise routines gradually so as to not stress the Sesamoid bones. Another factor is to wear properly supporting shoes. There are different types of running shoes that accommodate the different styles of running and the size of your foot. Properly supportive shoes will feel comfortable when running, be loose enough when not running and will be wide enough to not squish your feet (which will just put more stress on the ball of your foot). Make sure to change your running shoes every 400 miles; they're not made to run in forever. So if you do ten miles a week that will be forty weeks or about ten months.
However, if you're not able to prevent Sesamoiditis from occurring you have several treatment options. The very first thing you should do if you currently suffer from Sesamoiditis is to stay off your feet at all costs. Every step you take you put stress on the foot (as the pain in your foot will tell you) and this prevents the body's natural healing process. It's important to halt your training program until the pain in the ball of your foot subsides. Icing the bottom of your foot for 10 minutes and then letting it rest for 50 minutes before icing it again will help to reduce the swelling that the tendons in your foot are experiencing. While your body will heal naturally, if you have a serious running injury that results in acute pain in the bottom of your foot it's possible that it's a more advanced stage of Sesamoiditis. If this is the case you'll want to consult with your doctor, or even better, a podiatrist to make sure that you haven't fractured any of the bones in your foot.
Once your foot starts to heal naturally it's important to gradually resume your running training. The best thing to do would be to start with an exercise that will get your heart rate up but doesn't put much if any stress on the foot. Exercises such as swimming and biking are good because they can substitute for running without pounding on your feet. After a few weeks of these alternate exercises you should be able to sustain short runs and gradually build up your stamina from there.