Sesamoiditis | Why is My Big Toe Sore?

Do you have a sore big toe? You may have sesamoiditis.

Sesamoiditis is a condition characterised by the inflammation of the sesamoid bones in the ball of the foot. This condition typically occurs due to overuse and is common among dancers, runners, and people with high-arched feet. 

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the symptoms associated with the condition and explore various treatment options available.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis typically develops gradually, and recognising its symptoms can help in seeking timely treatment. While there can be many causes of a sore big toe, here are some common sesamoiditis-specific signs to watch out for:

  • Dull Ache under the Big Toe
    One of the earliest indications of sesamoiditis is a persistent, dull ache beneath the big toe. This discomfort may worsen with activities that involve bearing weight on the foot or pushing off the toes, such as walking or running.

  • Difficulty Bending the Toe
    As sesamoiditis progresses, you may experience difficulty in bending or flexing the affected toe. This limitation in movement can cause discomfort and hinder your daily activities.

  • Pain while Walking Barefoot
    Sesamoiditis can cause increased pain when walking barefoot, as the sesamoid bones are directly impacted by the pressure exerted on the foot. The absence of supportive footwear can exacerbate the symptoms and intensify the discomfort.


If you suspect you may have sesamoiditis, it is essential to consult a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. During your visit, your podiatrist will conduct a thorough examination of your foot, paying special attention to the region around the big toe joint. It is important to distinguish sesamoiditis from other conditions that may cause similar discomfort, such as turf toe or a sesamoid fracture. Ensuring appropriate treatment is administered is crucial when confirming the diagnosis of sesamoid pain.

Treatment Options for Sesamoiditis

The treatment approach varies depending on the severity of the injury. The two main treatments we provide at TFC Podiatry are:

  • Taping
    Your podiatrist may employ a specific type of padding and taping technique to alleviate pressure and relieve tension under the big toe. This method can help reduce pain and support the affected area during the healing process.

  • Orthotic therapy
    If your occupation or chosen activity involves prolonged periods of standing or walking, or if your foot structure contributes to the condition, orthotic therapy may be prescribed. Custom orthotics are the best option to redistribute pressure away from the big toe joint, providing long-term relief and addressing the underlying causes of sesamoiditis.

If you are experiencing soreness in your big toe and suspect it may be sesamoiditis, we encourage you to reach out to TFC Podiatry and book an appointment with our experienced podiatrists. We have podiatry clinics in Avondale Heights, Point Cook, and Yarraville. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help you recover faster and prevent further complications.

Remember, taking care of your feet is crucial for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Don’t let sesamoiditis hinder your mobility and enjoyment of daily activities. Seek professional help and get back on your feet!

Your appointment at TFC Podiatry begins with listening to your story

We want to know how your foot or ankle concerns impact your life and learn about your goals.