Exercises For Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a foot ailment that causes pain on the ball of the foot beneath the big toe. It is so called because of the sesamoid bones, which are tiny bones in the tendons of the big toe. Sesamoiditis is usually due to overuse and is not serious. Rest, ice, over-the-counter pain medication and the use of cushioned footwear is usually recommended. Gentle exercises to increase range of motion and strengthen the foot may also be helpful.

The sesamoids are located in the big toe.

Toe Crunches

Toe crunches help restore movement to the big toe after the pain and inflammation have subsided. Sit in a chair and place a hand towel on the floor beside your affected foot. Use the toes of your injured foot to grab and pick up the towel and then release it. Perform this exercise 10 times daily or as directed by your doctor.

Simple Range of Motion

It's common to lose range of motion when there has been inflammation, which there often is with sesamoiditis. As the inflammation subsides, simple toe stretches can help restore mobility. Sit comfortably and extend the leg of your affected foot. Using just your foot muscles, curl your big toe under and then pull it back toward you. Start with smaller motions and work up to exaggerated motions. Stop if there is any pain. Do this exercise 10 to 20 times daily or as directed by your doctor.

Foot Raises

This exercise should be performed only when your pain and inflammation have completely subsided and your doctor has given you the go-ahead. Stand upright and simply rise up on to your toes. Hold the lift for two counts and then lower back down. Repeat 10 to 15 times daily or as directed by your doctor.


In most cases, rehabilitative exercises are not necessary unless your doctor recommends them. After resting your foot for a period of time, applying ice and wearing appropriate footwear, pain and swelling should go away and you can resume normal activity. In some cases, it may be helpful to wrap your foot in a supportive elastic bandage for a time when returning to your activities. If your pain recurs or is chronic, speak to your doctor about other treatment options.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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