Heel, leg pain, and stiffness caused by plantar fasciitis can make even the simplest tasks a struggle—from taking your daily walk and exercising to standing at the stove to prepare a meal.
If you’re seeking a simple, affordable way to relieve the discomfort caused by this condition, compression socks may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how compression socks can help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain, how to choose the right type of compression sock, and more.
How Compression Socks Alleviate Plantar Fasciitis
Compression socks can help alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis, especially in the case of a muscle spasm or overuse injury. Pressure from the sock improves circulation through the leg and foot, which promotes healing and helps muscle tissue relax.
In addition to inflammation and pain management, compression socks can help with plantar fasciitis in a number of ways.
The plantar fascia ligament runs from the base of your toes to the heel of your foot, providing both stability and flexibility. When this ligament becomes inflamed, it can put extra pressure on your ankle and cause pain. Compression socks that cover and support the ankle can help alleviate pain in this area.
Inflammation in your ligaments is one of the main symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Compression socks support your connective tissues and help break up fluids to reduce swelling.
Compression socks for plantar fasciitis always feature elastic support in the arch and heel, which relieves pain. You can wear compression socks with or without shoes and still get the same benefits.
Plantar fasciitis can cause tightness in your muscles that make it hard to flex your feet and legs, resulting in muscle cramps. Compression socks address this by gently massaging away tightness and keeping your muscles flexible.
Graduated Pressure Compression Socks vs. Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks
Several different types of compression socks are available, each designed to treat specific things. When searching for compression socks for plantar fasciitis, it’s important to ensure they have the features you need.
The most common types of compression socks you’ll need to choose between either have graduated pressure or foot-based pressure.
Graduated Pressure Socks
Graduated pressure socks aren’t generally designed to treat plantar fasciitis. They feature firm compression around the ankle and milder compression at the top of the calf, with little to no pressure for arch support. Doctors usually recommend them for general inflammation and varicose veins rather than plantar issues.
Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks
While compression socks made to treat plantar fasciitis may deliver pressure to the calf and ankle, the main focus is on the arch of the foot. Supporting the tissues in this area of the foot alleviates pressure on the heel to help relieve pain.
Who Can Wear Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis?
Almost anyone dealing with plantar fasciitis can safely treat it with compression socks. In particular, athletes and those who are on their feet for long periods of time—such as nurses and other service workers—can wear compression socks to treat discomfort and prevent their plantar fasciitis from getting worse.
However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying compression socks so they can advise you on wearing the apparel safely. Those with venous ulcers and other vein-related health concerns should not wear compression socks unless their doctor recommends them.
When to Wear Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis
A general guideline for when to wear compression socks for plantar fasciitis is to slip them on whenever you feel the most discomfort. Some examples of this include:
- During exercise to support and protect your connective tissues and muscles from impact
- While sitting for long periods to prevent fluid retention and improve circulation
- In bed to reduce swelling overnight and make your mornings easier
It’s worth noting that there are differing opinions as to whether it’s safe to wear compression socks to bed. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine what’s best for you.
Can I Wear Compression Socks All Day?
Simply put, yes, compression socks are safe to wear for the majority of the day—but you should always listen to your body. If your feet go numb or you experience heightened pain levels, you should remove them immediately.
Safety Precautions & Contraindications
Most people can safely use compression socks for plantar fasciitis without experiencing any health problems. However, introducing pressure to the legs and feet can exacerbate certain medical conditions, including diabetes and certain blood circulation disorders.
If you have a circulation-related condition, it’s always advisable to ask your doctor whether it’s safe to wear compression socks.
Additionally, if you plan to wear compression socks daily, you should put on a fresh pair every day, and wash them often. This helps prevent bacterial and fungal infections, like athlete’s foot.
Wearing Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks with Custom Orthotics
Many people with plantar fasciitis put orthotic inserts in their footwear to help support their arches and take pressure off of their heels. In general, it’s safe to combine orthotics and compression socks.
However, if this combination makes your shoes feel tight or restricts toe movement, you may need to reassess. For instance, your doctor may recommend you wear orthotic inserts in your shoes at work and put on your compression socks at home.
How to Choose Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis
Compression socks vary in pressure from about 15mmHg of light compression to 40mmHg of very firm compression. Most people with plantar fasciitis benefit most from moderate pressure—between 20 and 30mmHg. This level of compression offers enough pressure to keep your socks up without squeezing the leg so hard it disrupts circulation.
Nurse Yard compression socks offer graduated compression, starting at 30mmHg around the ankle and gradually decreasing to 20mmHg just below the knee. They also offer compression and support around the arches, which is essential for treating plantar fasciitis pain.
Choose Nurse Yard for Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis
With Nurse Yard compression socks, you don’t have to choose between graduated compression and arch support—we have both. Additionally, our design hack features a cushioned ankle and no-slip cuff to provide hours of hassle-free pain relief.
Plus, when you buy one pair, we’ll give you a second one at 70% off, along with free shipping. Browse our compression socks today to choose your favorite set!