Plantar Fasciitis Socks
The plantar fasciitis sock is an orthotic device that
is used in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. It is
a type of brace that holds the foot in a flexed position
while you rest or sleep, thus stretching the plantar
fascia as well as the Achilles tendon. It is designed
to treat the main symptom of the condition – heel
pain, especially the sharp, intense pain felt when taking
the first few steps of the day.
One of the main causes of plantar fasciitis is a shortening
of the connective tissue that supports the arch of the
foot, called the plantar fascia. During walking, running
and standing, the arch acts as a shock absorber and
is constantly being stretched and flexed. When the ligament
is tight, this can lead to tiny tears occurring where
it attaches to the heel bone, causing inflammation and
pain. Invariably, the Achilles tendon is also shortened
in people who suffer from plantar fasciitis as well
as the calf muscles.
The function of the plantar fasciitis sock is to gently
stretch the ligaments and tendons that are implicated
in this painful condition. The best time to do this
is when you are at rest, which is why it is worn at
night, but in fact you can get the benefit from the
sock at any time during the day when you can take some
time out to put your feet up.
There are several brands of plantar fasciitis socks
on the market so you need to find the one that is the
most comfortable for you. They are made from lightweight
stretchable material that pulls onto your foot like
a conventional sock. A wide adjustable band fastens
around your lower calf with a ring attached at the front.
There is a long strap attached to the toe of the sock
which you pass through the ring and tighten to maintain
your foot at an angle of 90 degrees to your shin.
There are other types of plantar fasciitis orthotics
that are designed to be worn when resting, the main
one being the night splint or brace. This device is
made from rigid material to hold the foot in the same
flexed position as the sock while you sleep. The main
advantage the sock has over the night splint is that
it is made of soft, pliable material which tends to
be more comfortable to wear. Many people who have used
both of these devices report that the sock doesn't interfere
with their sleep like the night brace does and is certainly
a more comfortable option.
Your doctor, podiatrist or physical therapist may recommend
a certain brand of sock or brace to you or you can look
online at the various types available. You need to look
for a sock that is comfortable, washable, firm yet flexible.
Some are made from material with thermal properties,
so they help to increase the blood flow to the injury,
which helps with healing. They also keep the muscles
and ligaments warm which promotes healing and pain relief.
It is important to remember that plantar fasciitis
orthotics that hold the foot in a constant position,
like the sock, are aimed at reducing the symptoms of
the condition and are not considered a cure. They are
very effective at relieving pain and inflammation in
the short term but should not be relied upon too heavily.
Wearing the device for too long can weaken the muscles
in the foot and ankle, creating a new set of problems.
The best results are achieved by using the plantar
fasciitis sock initially to relieve the heel pain in
the morning but then to incorporate a routine of plantar
fasciitis exercises and stretches into your treatment
plan. These specific exercises actively stretch and
strengthen the tissues of the foot and ankle. A combined
treatment approach produces the best long-term benefits
and relief from the symptoms of the condition.