There is a multitude of socks on the market today which claim to help you heal from the pain and discomfort associated with Plantar Fasciitis.
Graduated Compression Socks vs Plantar Fasciitis Compression Sleeves
Traditional compression socks or stockings are used to treat swelling, varicose veins and other circulatory problems. The compression in these socks is graduated; tightest at the ankle and gradually less compressive towards the top of the sock, usually ending at the knee. These types of compression socks are not used to treat Plantar Fasciitis.
There is another type of sock, with a compressive sleeve surrounding the arch of the foot, that may help with plantar fascia pain. These socks, while also called compression socks do not work in the same way as the graduated compression stockings mentioned above. The compressive sleeve provides support and pressure around the arch of your foot, providing you with mild support throughout your day where you need it most.
Do Compression Socks Help with Plantar Fasciitis?
While compression socks don’t provide the same support to the fascia the way custom orthotics do while standing or walking, they have the unique ability to provide relief for pain caused by plantar fasciitis while you’re off your feet. Even when you are not standing, the sock is supporting your foot with light pressure through the arch and soles of your feet. This support helps to maintain a small amount of stretch through the plantar fascia while simultaneously improving blood flow and calming swelling, reducing the pain.
Do Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks Work?
While they are not a curative treatment, Plantar Fasciitis compression socks can be a helpful addition to your healing toolbox. Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse injury, resulting from chronic cyclical loading of the tissue on the bottom of your foot. Treatments that aim to reduce the frequency or intensity of the load on your tissues may help to reduce your pain and other symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. The light pressure provided by the compression socks through the arch of the foot provides light support and can also reduce inflammation and swelling at the site of your pain.
What are the Benefits of Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks?
The benefits of wearing Plantar Fasciitis compression socks include:
- Decreased pain and inflammation
- Reduced swelling
- Improved arch support without shoes
Can I Wear Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis at Night?
Yes, compression socks can help to provide some relief while you sleep and for those first few painful steps in the morning. If you are like most people who suffer from plantar fasciitis pain, taking that first step out of bed every morning is generally the most painful time of day. This is, in part, because your plantar fascia rests in a shortened position while you sleep and is stretched quickly (and painfully!) with those first few steps. The light compression and mild arch support may help reduce the pain in those first steps out of bed in the morning.
Can I Wear Compression Socks with Orthotics?
Yes, as long as it feels comfortable, you can safely wear plantar fasciitis socks with custom orthotics. However, if they are too tight or cause discomfort while wearing certain shoes, you need to find the cause of the discomfort, possibly modify your sock/shoe combination, or wear your compression socks only when your shoes are off. It’s best to first consult with a pedorthist before combining compression socks and custom orthotics to ensure that compression socks are not conflicting with the support of your custom orthotics.
Do you have questions about compression socks or Plantar Fasciitis pain relief options? At SoleScience, our certified Pedorthists have answers! Give us a call today.