Sesamoiditis is a painful condition that affects the forefoot, usually beneath the big toe. While it's not as common as other foot injuries, it can strike runners who are increasing their mileage in preparation for a marathon. When the base of the big toe is subjected to chronic pressure, the surrounding tissues become irritated and inflamed. Sesamoiditis usually begins as a mild ache and becomes increasingly uncomfortable. Reducing your mileage and wearing supportive shoes are the first steps to recovery. Ice and ibuprofen can also alleviate pain. Building flexibility and strength in your forefoot (with the two exercises below) will enable you to safely resume your regular mileage and avoid a relapse.
Worn-out footwear can contribute to sesamoiditis. In addition to making sure you get new shoes every 300 to 500 miles, make a practice of inspecting your insoles. If you see a depression forming beneath the area where your big toe hits, you could be prone to sesamoiditis. The liners that come in your shoes may not offer enough padding for you. Replace them with a thicker, more cushioned pair from a specialty sports retailer.
1. Sit on the ground with both legs straight out.
2. Loop an exercise rope around your left foot, placing the loop just below the ball of your foot.
3. Grasp each end of the rope in your hands. Flex your foot back toward your ankle. Gently pull on the rope.
4. Hold for a second or two, and repeat 10 times on each foot.
1. Stuff coins or a one-pound weight into the toe of a long sock, then tread the sock between your big toe and the toe next to it. Sit in a chair with your feet dangling, toes pointed down.
2. Raise your forefoot up as far as you can. Hold for a second, then return to the starting position, toes pointed down. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
1. Start in the same position, toes pointed down. Lift your forefoot up in a diagonal motion so that your big toe is pointing up and toward the inside of your body. Hold for a second.
2. Lower your foot so that your big toe is pointing toward the ground. Hold for a second.
3. Lift your forefoot again, this time moving your foot up diagonally toward the outside of your body. Hold for a second before returning to the starting position. Repeat 10 times on each foot.