Forefoot Pain – Sesamoiditis

Forefoot pain

is most common in athletes and runners who workout and train extensively. Any pain associated with the metatarsal region of the feet is usually referred to as



or a

stone bruise


. Both the joints and the bones in this region can get affected due to metatarsalgia. Athletes with stiff ankles, bunions, arthritis or irritated nerves in the foot are known to develop pains in the forefeet frequently.

Forefoot Pain and the Sesamoid Bones:

You must have observed that under both our feet, we possess a ball like bone just under the big toe. These are the sesamoid bones and it is this region that gets affected the most in athletes and leads to a forefoot pain.

  • It is possible that the pain can exist in the sesamoid bones of both the feet at once.
  • These sesamoids attach themselves to the big toe and control the tendons surrounding them and control the big toe. When athletes train a lot, this bone can get irritated (sometimes fractured as well) also inflaming the tendons along with it.

Signs and Symptoms:

The pain caused by an irritated sesamoid bone is called sesamoiditis and is usually localized. Everyone who suffers from this forefoot problem, feels like having a stone underneath the foot when they wear a shoe. Hence the name, stone bruise.

  • The pain starts off mildly and it grows in intensity as an athlete increases his/her workload. The pain is usually a burning sensation although, there is no apparent redness.
  • The pain usually progresses up the big toe, although it can also radiate down into the sole as well.

Treatment or Prevention:

Before confirming an inflamed sesamoid or metatarsalgia, doctors would have to rule out other conditions like gout and diabetes that also lead to a similar kind of condition. The following solutions can help prevent such a situation.

  • Box-toed shoes can help prevent pain in the forefoot much efficiently when compared to narrow pointed shoes.
  • Choose athletic shoes as recommended by professionals specific to the activity.
  • Workout intensity should be increased gradually. If you experience any pain while training, it is better to stop immediately and only after the pain subsides, should one get back to training again.
  • Shoe inserts and insoles are also helpful.
  • Forefoot pain

    can also be reduced by using NSAIDs.


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