It has been fun watching the US Ski Team compete at the Alpine World Championships in Colorado this month. Just watching the skiers slaloming back and forth around the gates, you can see how much pressure the movements put on their feet—especially the big toe area. Such back and forth movements are also part of sports like tennis, racquetball, and basketball, and of dancing. They can lead to stress on the tissues around your big toe joint and result in sesamoiditis, a common injury that involves the tendons around the two small sesamoid bones.
When you have an inflammation of the sesamoid bones and/or tendons, you will feel a dull ache under your big toe joint that increases when you are active and gets better when you are at rest. Here are three easy steps you can take to reduce the pain of this condition at home:
Sesamoiditis occurs because of overuse, so the first step is to rest from the activity that gives pain. Yes, we know you don’t want to miss out on the big competition, but not slowing down when the problem is small could mean it gets progressively worse and you won’t be able to compete at all. Your tissues need time to heal, or they will always be weaker and more prone to damage and pain.
Ice the joint, using cloth or a thin towel to protect your skin from freezing. This will numb the pain sensation but also helps keep swelling down, thus lessening the pressure on tender tissues.
Try cushioning the area with an insole or padding to keep pressure off the sesamoids and the inflamed tendons.
If pain persists, contact Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, CO. We can recommend certain medications to help with swelling and pain. We also offer ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation and soreness. Custom orthotics can better support your weight over your entire foot and correct biomechanical abnormalities, thus taking the pressure off the damaged area. If these conservative treatments don’t take care of the problem, surgical solutions may be a possibility. Call us at (303) 423-2520 to schedule an appointment at one of our Denver area offices. Our goal is to get your feet back in shape and you back on the slopes or in the game as soon as possible.
Photo credit: al71 via RGB-stock