The big toe joint has two important bones called the sesamoid bones that are crucial to its function. The sesamoid bones glide under the ball of the foot and move toward the big toe during walking. As a result of their location and the high demand placed on the sesamoid bones they are frequently injured. Common symptoms of injury to one or both of the sesamoid bones includes generalized pain to ball of foot, focal pain to the ball of the foot directly under the ball of the foot, painful gait, shifting weight away from injured area to adjacent bones, and curling of toes..
Special pads have been made to help alleviate the direct pressure to the sesamoid bones. These pads are referred to by two different names: sesamoid pad or dancer's pad. These pads come in three different materials: felt, foam, and gel. Upcoming articles will help you decide how to decide on a sesamoid pad or dancer's pad thickness and material.