When you have plantar fasciitis, you know how painful it can be, and you might know how finding a good pair of plantar fasciitis socks can really help speed up the recovery. Not only that, but imagine while wearing them, your heels being free of pain. The question is, but how do they work. Well it's time to get a little technical.
If we are to understand how plantar fasciitis socks work, we need to have just a basic understanding of how our blood flows through our bodies. Essentially the heart pumps blood containing oxygen to our extremities (including our feet) and all the working muscles through our arteries. The cells, tissues, and muscles use the oxygen from the blood, as well as other nutrients it supplies. Once the oxygen is removed, the deoxygenated blood, with lactic acid and other waste products make their journey through our veins back to the heart. When it reaches the heart, the blood refills with the oxygen from our lungs and the cycle repeats itself.
When it comes to plantar fasciitis, keeping oxygenated blood flowing to the plantar fascia tissues is so important for recovery. For the better the supply of oxygen to these tissues the quicker the recovery these tissues will have.
During running or when standing on our feet all day, our legs and feet sustain quite a bit of pounding resulting in shock and wear to our plantar fascia. After a run, for instance, our feet can absorb about 3-5 times our body weight. Our legs and feet produce increased amounts of waste products and lactic acid. If lactic acid is not removed from our tissues and muscles, our muscles start getting sore and our performance ability decreases as our muscles fatigue out. Not only that but the constant pounding can start to cause micro-tears in our plantar fascia which contributes to the waste products needing to be removed. Each time our feet hit the pavement the plantar fascia can tear just a little more.
So using that knowledge, let's talk about why plantar fasciitis socks work. A good pair of plantar fasciitis socks, provide graduated compression. This means that the compression is tighter (higher) around the balls of the feet and arch, and slightly looser (lower) around the heel and ankle. Graduated compression helps assist the foot by giving the most oxygen where it is needed most in the arch and toes, and helps fight the effects of gravity so blood can return back to the heart with all the waste products.
This process has been shown to work in recent studies. These studies show that when there is a consistent compression at optimal levels, the walls of the arteries dilate, meaning they increase their blood flow. Studies have shown this arterial blood flow increases as much as 40% during an activity and 30% during actual recovery. So your feet are receiving quite a bit more oxygen and nutrients to help with healing plantar fasciitis!
At the same time, the walls of the veins actually constrict during compression because they are closer to the surface of the skin. This helps to increase velocity of blood flow through them, or in other words that deoxygenated blood and waste pass to the heart more quickly -again helping in healing and recovery of the plantar fascia tissue.
So let's summarize the benefits of plantar fasciitis socks. Increased blood flow means enhanced recover and healing of the plantar fascia. Fantastic news, for those looking for a solution to their plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis socks do help! Like I have said before, my wife swears by them.
Hopefully this gives you the knowledge of why investing in a few pair of these socks would be so beneficial to your recovery.