Plantar Fasciitis Socks How Do They Relieve Symptoms?
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.