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ZaTech®: compression socks benefits for plantar fasciitis and active lifestyle

Plantar Fasciitis: Compression Socks for an Active Lifestyle

By Court Levins

This ZaTech® blog series is for you! Here, we answer some of your most asked questions backed by science and current research. 

If you have questions or would like us to discuss another topic, drop us a line at customersupport@zatechsports.com.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common types of foot pain seen in adults and is typically accompanied by a tight Achilles tendon. Although some cases are severe, traditionally, most instances can be treated with targeted stretching, pain relieving medications, and shoe inserts. While customized orthotics (shoe inserts) used to be the golden standard for reducing plantar fasciitis pain, the commonality of this issue has inspired scientists and companies to find more affordable and accessible solutions. Oftentimes, folks experiencing Plantar fasciitis and foot pain feel restricted from taking part in the activities that they enjoy like walking, running, hiking, and tennis. At ZaTech®, that's exactly what we set out to change.

Anatomy of General Movement and Plantar Faciitis

When engaging in any form of weight-bearing movement, such as running or strength-training, your muscles are broken down. Now, this breakdown of muscles is a natural byproduct of any load-bearing exercise, but to continually perform and see growth, recovery and soreness need to be optimized. 

Compression socks are historically used in clinical settings to increase blood flow and reduce swelling, but new research shows that they may have similar uses while exercising. As a result, compression socks may reduce inflammation and pain in those with plantar fasciitis who do load-bearing movements.

Strength Training with Plantar Fasciitis

Anyone who does strength training or Crossfit knows that muscle soreness is part of the process. But for those with plantar fasciitis, typical soreness and pain may be exacerbated by the load-bearing pressure of strength training and can become excruciating. Compression socks can help reduce that pain and soreness by redirecting nutrient flow and increasing blood distribution around your feet and legs. 

DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and exercise-induced muscle damage are often associated with strength training. Exercise-induced muscle damage is more common, while DOMS is typically more severe. Compression socks have been shown to increase strength performance and improve DOMS symptoms, while decreasing muscle swell.

DOMS occurs when your muscles are broken down so much that they struggle to build themselves back up. DOMS is most common in resistance training and can happen for various reasons including overworking yourself, jumping back into intense movement after time off, or aggressively increasing load. DOMS typically peaks 1-2 days after movement and its most prominent symptom is usually muscle swelling. Although DOMS does not directly impact plantar fasciitis, additional inflammation on or around your Achilles tendon and feet may exacerbate your regular plantar fasciitis pain. Compression socks may help reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms by promoting blood flow throughout your legs, which might lessen your plantar fasciitis symptoms both during and after strength training. 

Cardio

Although studies have shown that compression socks have the most influential impact on strength training, they have been found to be beneficial in improving cycling performance. The benefits of compression socks in runners is a popular subject in research right now. So far, it seems that by reducing tension on and around the Achilles tendon and around the bottoms of your feet, compression socks may help reduce plantar fasciitis pain in cyclists and runners.

Takeaways and the benefits of ZaTech® Plantar Fasciitis Socks

If you are someone who experiences pain from plantar fasciitis while doing load-bearing movements, compression socks may help reduce muscle soreness and swelling to reduce your plantar fasciitis pain both during and after a workout. For runners, cyclists, or those who experience pain walking, hiking, or being active in hundreds of other ways because of your plantar fasciitis, studies have shown that compression socks help with nutrient distribution, increase recovery, and improve performance- all while potentially reducing plantar fasciitis-related pain. 

Still unsure? Give  ZaTech® socks a try and let us know what you think! 

Happy moving! 


References:

  1. de Asla RJ, Kwon J. Approach to the Patient with Foot & Ankle Pain. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Rheumatology, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill; 2021. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=506&sectionid=42584890. Accessed January 22, 2021.
  2. Brown F, Gissane C, Howatson G, et al. Compression Garments and Recovery from Exercise: A Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2017;47(2245-2267). Doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0728-9. Accessed January 22, 2021.
  3. Taylor L, Yoo S. Orthotics. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. McGraw Hill; 2021. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?sectionid=70380799&bookid=1180&jumpsectionID=70380916&Resultclick=2. Accessed January 22, 2021. 
  4. Book J, Prince CN, Villar R, et al. Investigating the impact of passive external lower limb compression on central and peripheral hemodynamics during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016;116(717-727). Doi: 10.1007/s00421-016-3331-0. Accessed January 22, 2021. 
  5. Zadow E, Adams M, Wu S, et al. Too clot or not too clot? The influence of travel, marathon running and compression socks on blood clot risk. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2018;21S(S31). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2018.09.071. Accessed January 22, 2021.