The Strassburg Sock has been developed as a cheaper alternative for the night splint. The basic goal is the same though: to keep the calf stretched during the night to prevent the typical morning-pain, typical for plantar fasciitis. As simple as this sounds, it is extremely effective. Actually, this is probably the nr. 1 self-help treatment for plantar fasciitis. Originally created by Dave Strassburg (hence the name), others have copied the concept and these are often being sold as plantar fasciitis sock, plantar fasciitis night sock or heel spur sock. Usually, all of these pretty much work quite well.
Basically the Strassburg Sock is a large sock, with a velcro strip running from knee to toes that is worn at night. From the toes a piece of velcro runs to the knees, pulling up the toes. You can adjust the level of stretching by adjusting the velcro strip. Usually they last long enough for a treatment (usually 2-3 months).
One of the causes for heel spur or plantar fasciitis is calcium depositing in the attachment to the heel of the plantar fascia tendon. This mainly occurs when resting, especially while sleeping. Also the fascia get's shorter then, as it is fully relaxed when sleeping. Using a night splint or Strassburg sock may help to prevent this process. They pull up the toes a bit and keep the foot in an upward position.
It is generally advised to wear the heel spur sock for at least 2 months. If by then your heel spur hasn't become any better, it is no use to keep wearing it. However, some people even report great results in just a few days, but these are exceptions. Also, the sock should be work all night long. If you have issues doing so because of the strap getting uncomfortable in the knee area or because your toes get numb, either loosen the straps a bit or take it off after a few hours. Best results usually come when wearing it all night, but also a few hours a day may be effective.
Th main advantages of the Strassburg Sock are the following:
Some people feel some discomfort because of the toes being pulled up, sometimes even a slight numbness. This may just need some getting used to, but if the feeling persists or becomes really uncomfortable you should stop the treatment. Also, in this particular situation, using a night splint might be the better option.
In some cases the Strassburg Sock should not be used, like in pregnancy, some skin-diseases, and some forms of diabetes.
In this short video you can easily see how the Strassburg Sock should be applied:
The Strassburg Sock is the first equilavent of a night splint as a sock, but in the mean time, more manufactorers have created heel spur or plantar fasciitis socks. These are often as good and sometimes a bit cheaper. To name a few, check out these brands:
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