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Sesamoiditis Physiotherapy: Symptoms & Treatment

Sesamoiditis is a painful condition that affects the sesamoid bones in the foot, typically caused by overuse or injury. Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for sesamoiditis, focusing on reducing pain and inflammation, improving range of motion, and strengthening the muscles in the foot and ankle.

Sesamoiditis is a condition that is a form of tendonitis, that occurs in the ball of the foot just behind the big toe.  Here, the body has two small sesamoid bones that are not connected by a joint to any other bones, but rather are imbedded in the soft tissue.  They act like pulleys, providing a smooth surface for tendons to slide over, therefore increasing the ability to transmit muscular forces from the connecting muscle.  The sesamoid bones in the foot assist with weight bearing and help lift the bones of the big toe.  Sesamoid bones can break (fractures) and the tendons around them can also become irritated and inflamed.  When this happens, it is called Sesamoiditis.  This condition is common in dancers, runners and baseball catchers or any athlete who spends a lot of time on the forefoot.  Pain will typically be focused at the ball of the foot behind the big toe.  There may or may not be some swelling and/or bruising.  There may be some pain with moving the big toe and also with weight bearing activities, particularly on the forefoot.

Your Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist can fully assess your foot.  If there are any signs of fracture, they may ask that you consult your doctor to consider an x-ray.  Typically, Sesamoiditis can be treated clinically through manual therapy, exercise therapy and modification or rest from the offending activity.  In extreme cases that do not resolve otherwise, your doctor may want to refer you to a surgeon to consider removing the sesamoid bone(s).  Treatment will typically include releasing the muscles and tendons around the bones and surrounding area and ensuring all nearby joints are moving well.  Your Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist will send you home with a series of exercises to help accomplish these same goals and also educate you on the use of heat and/or ice, the importance of rest, and modification of, or slow return to, activity.  Sometimes, foot supports or taping can be helpful in this condition.

Registered Massage Therapy can also be helpful to loosen the muscles of the foot and calf to help remove some of the causes of the problem. 

As with all injuries, this information is simply a guide, and it is always best to check in with a Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist to have a personalized assessment and hear recommendations for what you and your body may specifically need.

Contact Us For Help

Inertia Physio+ offers Kanata and Stittsville exceptional Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy and Registered Massage Therapy with private treatment rooms, one on one care, a maximum of two patients per hour and treatment focused on the evidence based practices of manual and exercise therapy.   Don’t suffer any longer.  If you have pain or injury, our Kanata and Stittsville Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy and Registered Massage Therapy team is here to help you get back to life pain free life and activities.  Please reach out to us at (613) 672-2200 or for an appointment today!  You are also welcome to book online. We also offer direct billing on Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy services whenever your plan allows.


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