Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Running Injuries and other Running topics.
Many treatments exist for that bane of runners: plantar fasciitis. In plantar fasciitis, the band of tissue along the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. This can be caused by incorrect footwear (including too much barefoot time), an increase in mileage, hard running surfaces, or all of the above.
Early morning pain is a common problem when dealing with plantar fasciitis because the injured tissue starts to heal in an unstretched position during the day, and then gets re-injured at night.
The theory behind different types of night splints for PF is that they will hold the plantar fascia in a stretched position overnight, which has been shown to help speed recovery.
A device called the Strassburg Sock is a knee sock with a strip of fabric running from the elastic band below the knee to the tip of the big toe. This piece holds the big toe in the position of pulled back toward the knee. This position stretches the plantar fascia.
If you have stubborn plantar fasciitis, the Strassburg Sock might be worth a try. It is inexpensive, noninvasive, and probably won't make your foot pain any worse. And the effectiveness of the Strassburg Sock has been studied. In a randomized trial of 160 plantar fasciitis patients, the half who wore the sock recovered after an average of 19 days, compared with an average of 59 days for control patients who didn't wear the sock.
Keep an open mind, and use your judgement, but remember that it's essential to determine what caused your plantar fasciitis, so you can keep it from coming back once you recover.