Over the past several weeks, I’ve been writing a lot on the benefits of compression stockings and compression socks. Well, as it would turn out, there may be a benefit to you even if you’re not an athlete. What’s that benefit? A treatment for plantar fasciitis.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, read on to find out how compression socks can help. And, if you know someone who does, why not treat them to a pair of compression socks in their stocking this year? Here’s how compression socks can help to remedy this common condition.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Many, many years ago, I was in college. (I won’t mention how many centuries ago that was!) I was a full time student and spent a lot of time sitting on my couch, studying. Unfortunately, with college also comes student loans; during the summer I needed to take jobs.
Historically, I’d easily found a desk job, and even held a few internships related to my studies. But during my junior year, I was forced to take on a retail job. I was to manage a children’s clothing store in the mall downtown. Dutifully, and with respect to the loan officers, I dressed for work each morning in my “work shoes,” then stood behind a register and walked the concrete floors all day.
By the end of the first month, the pain was unbearable. In the evenings, I’d take off my shoes and almost cry out because the pain was so bad. Eventually, the pain was so intense that I had to visit the doctor. What the doctor told me shocked me: I had plantar fasciitis.
Now, despite being a college educated person, I had honestly thought up until that point that plantar fasciitis meant corns, or warts. I was wrong. That’s not what it is at all.
Plantar fasciitis is heel pain which can be caused by a number of factors. There’s a ligament in your foot called the plantar fascia, and when that ligament gets irritated or swollen, your feet start to hurt. Badly. Just as mine had.
I talked to the doctor for just a while more, and he recommended a few things. He also told me a bit about what causes plantar fasciitis, and how I could prevent it in the future.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis, in my case, was caused by standing on that concrete floor all day with no good support for my feet. I have high arches to my feet, and my shoes were attractive, but useless to support them.
But there are a few other things that can cause plantar fasciitis. Here are several:
- If you have excessive pronation, you could get plantar fasciitis. That means that you roll your feet too much when you walk, and it’s a very common condition. You can read more about that here. Finding the proper shoes is essential to you!
- If you, like I did, stand on your feet for too long every day, that can cause it too. It’s not just retail, of course. Doctors, nurses, waitstaff and others are all prone to plantar fasciitis.
- If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to get plantar fasciitis. The best course of action is to talk to your doctor about how to lose weight.
- If you have tight Achilles tendons, you can suffer severe foot pain. As it would turn out, this is something I experienced first hand, as well. It’s literally impossible for me to point my foot up at more than a 90 degree angle to my shin.
- If you’ve got high arches like I do, or if you’ve got flat feet, you’re more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Of course, before you diagnose yourself, please check with your doctor to make sure that it’s really plantar fasciitis you’re suffering from. Joint or foot pain could be the sign of something else, like arthritis, bursitis or even gout.
Checked with your doctor? Okay! It’s likely that she recommended a few things that will help you feel better. Here’s what my doctor told me.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
The first thing your doctor will tell you is to get good shoes. Seriously, it’s the best thing you can do for your feet. Whether you’re an athlete or a desk jockey, a well-fitting pair of shoes will be invaluable for your foot health.
Next, stay off your feet for a few days, if you can. If you’re required to be on your feet at work, explain the situation to your boss; she might let you have a few minutes to rest every now and then.
Take ibuprofen or another NSAID throughout the day to reduce the swelling. As always, check with your doctor first. Some medications can be bad for your liver and kidneys, and if you’ve got a heart condition they may interfere with your medications.
Finally, get yourself a pair of compression socks. I’m being serious. It’s the best thing you can do. There are a few ways that compression socks can help you, no matter the cause of your plantar fasciitis.
Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis
Compression socks will have a few benefits to your foot health. The first is that that’s what they’re designed for. The pressure that compression socks will put on your feet will help to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Compression socks help to draw the blood away from your feet, circulating it back into your bloodstream. That’s going to make you feel better all around, and your feet will thank you too.
Secondly, compression socks have a stabilizing effect. If you suffer from severe pronation, compression socks will help to keep your foot “still,” reducing the likelihood of plantar fasciitis. Look for a pair of compression socks that have a left and a right foot, to ensure the right fit.
A third, perhaps unintended benefit of compression socks is this: they’ll help prevent blisters. Have you ever been on a long walk, or on a hike, and realized that you’ve begun to get blisters? Once you realize this, you will start to favor the area of your foot that is affected. That will cause you to walk “wrong,” and will eventually lead to foot pain.
Compression socks are moisture wicking as well as anti-inflammatory. They’ll reduce the instance of blisters on your feet, increasing the chance that your foot posture will remain correct.
Plantar fasciitis is a pain in the… heel. Whether it’s your or someone you know who’s suffering, check out these causes of the condition. Then relax, put your feet up, and order a few pairs of compression socks. You’ll be amazed at the difference you feel!
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