Spin Class and Forefoot (Sesamoid) Pain

Reader Mary makes a good point of caution:

“I love spin cycling and wore mountain bike cycling shoes in class. I fractured my right sesamoid bone in my foot. I did not clip in–just used the cages. I haven’t been able to go back to spin cycling since the injury.”

Sesamoiditis is a common condition where one of the two bones underneath the big toe become inflamed, injured or fractured. This most commonly occurs when there is repeated, constant pressure or force applied to the sesamoids or during a one-time time traumatic event.

This image shows the anatomy of the sesamoids as they relate to the big toe joint.

Sesamoid_Anatomy

This image is of a weight-bearing x-ray, showing an intact sesamoid next to a fractured sesamoid.

Sesamoiditis

I have treated many cases of sesamoiditis and fracture that happened during spin classes. Typically, this happens when the pedal rests squarely below the forefoot or when the majority of the class is spent out of the saddle.

You may need an MRI to confirm that the fracture is healed before going back, and you will definitely need to modify your cycling form. Less standing and less resistance when you do stand will give your quads more of a workout, and will also reduce the force going through the sesamoids.

For more information regarding sesamoiditis, here’s another blog post I wrote https://drshoereviews.com/2012/01/25/sesamoiditis-2/

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