Friday, June 29, 2007

Bruised or Broken Sesamoids.

I am having some pain in the ball of my left foot. It is unpleasant. I felt it getting up to get my snooze alarm and it hurt so bad I had little mini-dreams about it (during the 9 min span between alarms). This is what had to say about it:

Soreness Under the Ball of the Big Toe (Bruised or
broken sesamoids)

Description:Tiny bones called sesamoids are located under the ball of
your big toe (where the toe connects to your foot). These bones sometimes bruise
-- it's a hassle, but it's also a warning system; they start aching before you
damage the bones of your big toe. To see if you've bruised these little guys,
press hard on the head of your big toe with your thumb. If you're howling in
pain, that pretty much confirms that you've bruised, maybe even broken, your

Likely Causes:Increased mileage, maybe new hillwork or speedwork. Whatever
the cause, you are running too much on the balls of your feet. Also, it is
possible that your running surface is responsible -- too much hard pavement. A
final possibility is that you are doing nothing wrong at all, but you may have
been betrayed by your own bone structure (i.e. you have bony feet without much
fat padding).

Remedy:Ice your foot, putting it on ice for ten minutes, off for ten
minutes, and repeat. Do this often, maybe four times per day. This, of course,
only treats the symptoms. You also have to treat the root cause and stop
pounding the balls of your feet into pulp. Reduce hillwork and speedwork, and
also take a look at your stride. Your heel should hit the ground first, rolling
through the middle of your foot and then springing off from your toes. You
should not be landing on the balls of your feet.

The problem can further be avoided in the future by padding around the
ball of your foot to take pressure off of it. Get a piece of felt or foam rubber
(try using a Dr. Scholl's heel pad, for example). It should be 1/4" thick and
about 2" square. Cut a shallow "U" out of the pad so that it fits snugly behind
(not over) the ball of your foot. Behind, incidentally, means on the heel side,
not the toe side. The pad should fit right behind the painful area. You'll know
you've got it right when you try it out and walk around -- the pressure will be
off the bone, and the pain will be far reduced. Tape the padding to your foot
and wear it in your daytime shoes as well as your running shoes.

You should be able to hit the road immediately, and the pain will
likely disappear in about two weeks. If it does not, you may need custom
orthotics. See a podiatrist, preferably one who is also a runner.


Debula said...

Casey I think you have over looked your true calling! I swear you need to write for a paper or a magazine! I could read your writings all day and you inject so much sarcasm and humor! Love it!

AddictedToEndorphins said...

What race are you training for in September 2007! Ill be doing a Half marathon either in end of September or middle of October..or both!

I hope you heel quickly...Injuries Suck.

Nixie said...

this is directly from
you should probably acknowledge your source.

Casey said...

nixie, if you read the first part of the post, it gives a link to the source. thanks for your concern.

LJ said...

I know that this is an old post, but I just have to comment that after two months, I was finally diagnosed with sesamoiditis and bone bruise of my medial sesamoid (not an obvious fracture, anyway.) I haven't even been able to walk normally or even stand too long on it in all that time. I was working on running when I slipped down the stairs and landed hard on the ball of my foot. I have has mild sesamoiditis off and on in my other foot for years, and yes, it has never really prevented me from walking, running, biking, etc, like this had.