I am wondering if any one here has ever suffered with sesamoiditis. I just got diagnosed and hopefully I am not dealing with a fracture as the pain is minimal but I’ll know for sure next week). I would love to hear how any of you manage this condition or what choices you made to encourage healing. I admit I am feeling a bit nervous and disheartened, and perhaps seeking a bit of support. I tried to talk about this with some fellow yogis but i was told that I am not being aware, that i am practicing wrong, and that I am hurting myself. I still take classes and when I can private lessons just to “check in” with some wonderful yoga teachers and they don’t think that this inflammation is doing from anything I have done, though once inflamed doing many of my asanas do aggravate my foot. To be honest, i would be relieved if this was due to my behavior as it would mean a possible fix with behavior modification. I do agee that i can always expand my awareness and I am not always as aware as I should be, lol, but I have this because I was born with a very high arch in my feet. High arches, narrow, bony feet make one prone to problems with sesamoid bones, particularly if one is physically active. I didn’t know that I have an unusually high arch as my feet and I have always had a great relationship with nary an issue and I just never had a reason to question the health of my feet. It was only when I started to notice a slight discomfort during my asana practice i knew something had changed. Fortunately I have caught it before I had any real pain and from what we can see so far, no real damage, just swelling. I appreciate any input or reflections on personal experiences with issues with the sesamoid foot bones. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
I have never helped anybody with your condition, nor have I treated it in my own body so take this with a grain of salt.
Get a strap, preferably a thin one. Come to your knees and strap your ankles together. Put the locking mechanism between your ankles and then sit in virasana (knees together) on the tops of your feet. You will notice that the strap keeps your ankles together where they would naturally want to fall apart. The part that I think would be good for you comes a few minutes after you take time on the tops of your feet. Tuck your toes and sit back to virasana. Be sure that you are not learning forward as this is a common response. I recommend the first time you do this that you take a blanket and put it between the back of your thighs and calves.
You may also roll up a blanket slightly and put it somewhere but I don’t quite remember if it was under the ankles or under the butt. I hesitate because I don’t want to be one of those teachers that has people but blankets under there knees rather than under their calves in dandasana.
Note that this pose/counter pose sequence can hurt like a mo fo. The first time I did it was the most willpower I have ever had to exert in a yoga class. Afterwords my feet felt fantastic!
To treat just above this area you can give this a try and may wish to do this first.
Come to a wall.
Put your feet together and slide one foot back. Keep the alignment that you had with big toes touching and keep both feet facing forwards. You see runners do this stretch a lot with their back leg turned; this is incorrect. Starting with the calf stretch, bend your front leg and straighten your back leg, internally rotating your thigh. Keep the ankle grounded. For the achilles stretch bend the back leg. You will have to bend a little less in the front leg to do this. Keep the ankle grounded. Also, be sure that your are not collapsing your chest and resting your upper body on the wall for both of these.
You may also consider learning about the triangles in your feet. I would think it is possible that you are putting too much weight on the insides of your feet. You may also use the visualization of grounding down through four corners of your feet, but I prefer the triangle visual.
Enjoy your new behavior modification! Sometimes we need to slow down and look to postures that we otherwise shrug off as simple, or easy.
So there are a lot of things afoot in your post. I would be in a far better position to comment if you were to expand on what is going on. Here’s what I’d like responses to:
You mention a diagnosis but do not really discuss symptomology or how this impacts your asana practice, where, and for how long. You’ve also not mentioned what remedies you’ve already pursued.
You mention other yoga practitioners have stated you are practicing “wrong”. Of course there is only appropriate practice and inappropriate practice (for you) and rarely something inherently “wrong” though it does happen. Can you outline your practice, what style you are practicing, what frequency, what duration, etcetera?
You mention swelling but do not outline pain and its nature (for you) which makes this vague. Swelling is addressed through nutrition and lifestyle in conjunction with modifications to practice - since you’ve not mentioned either your practice or modifications (yet) I can’t really comment intelligently.
Finally, we create everything in our living. It may not fit into a tidy little box labeled “behavior modification” but we absolutely create our realities and therefore can be fully empowered to change them - when we are well guided and willing to grow, change, and learn full responsibility for our living.
Your reply gets mine.
I’ve had sesamoiditis for 6 years, and found it unexpectedly healed completely after cycling daily on a stationary bike for 45 minutes over several months.
In order to try this yourself, you will need shoes that won’t cause a re-injury (I use a Birkenstock sandal) and ensure that the big toe is ‘glued’ to the other toes.
Give it a try!