Sesamoiditis - The Pea-Sized Pain In My...

Your sesamoids. Those cute little spheres of bone that are located just below the big toe. 

You would have never noticed their existence until you aggravate them. 

Sure, I am self-diagnosing. Sue me. But there are only a few injuries that can occur in your big toe. I have researched fractures, turf toe, metatarsalgia, and arthritis, but the only thing that makes perfect sense is sesamoiditis. If I truly wanted to give myself a wrong diagnosis, I would have chose tendonitis, the least painless and easily treated issue. 

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the bones and it is sometimes difficult to treat. However, since believing that this is my problem, I have immediately taken action on healing this injury.


I bought cheap insoles by Dr. Scholls. These happened to be made of memory foam. I took the pads, stacked them on one another and cut around were my sesamoid bones are. After adjusting and readjusting for 30 minutes, I placed them in a pair of my running shoes and took them for a test drive. Because the pressure was taken off that area of my foot, the majority of my pain was relieved. This had led me to believe even more that the problem would be in my sesamoids.

Even prior to this discovery, my pain was lessening, but at least with this new insole, I can run with significantly less annoyance. I was also able to run for more than 2.5 miles at a time. Today, I made it to 8.5 on the treadmill without any pain. 

I didn't even have pain then, I was just tired and hungry.

So I took a break, had pizza and water, then went for another round. It was more difficult the second time through. I was really getting tired... or bored. I have never run 15 miles on a treadmill in one day and it is definitely not my favorite place to run. But the important thing was that I did it and it was painless.

Tomorrow, I have a 7 miler planned, which will most likely be limited to the treadmill again. The trail is soaked and I am afraid to run the road with my foot. We will see though!

Have you ever dealt with sesamoiditis? 


  1. I'm dealing with this now. I've been able to run barely three miles at a time this week (after taking a week off after my half marathon because of the pain in my foot). I'm wondering how cutting the insole worked for you. I purchased metatarsal pads but had no luck since, as with most other things that stick to your foot, they just came unstuck and slid around. If you have any other pointers, let me know! Sesamoiditis be darned!

    1. Surprisingly, buying an insole and cutting it was better and cheaper than the metatarsal pads. I paid 3 dollars? I recommend it. Definitely took the edge off and allowed me to run. Eventually, the problem solved itself.

  2. Thank you for this article! I was fighting the same thing, and this info helped me.


  3. I thank you as well. I just started running when this little problem popped up. I'd rather not stop my training. I'll try your solution tomorrow.

  4. Hi Lindsey,

    I spent about an hour today to make a sesamoid pad and glue it under my insole. It felt a bit lumpy under my foot and not very comfortable. Then I had a light- bulb moment: Why not cut the insole out where my sesamoids are located instead of trying to use a pad. The result was awesome. As soon as I finished I searched the internet to find out if anyone else has also tried it and I got to your website. Just wanted to let you know.
    Best wishes


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