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.
How long should the Strassburg Sock be worn
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.
Strassburg Sock advantages
Th main advantages of the Strassburg Sock are the following:
- Efficient in treating heel spur and plantar fasciitis
- Also it is known to be succesfull in treating achilles tendinosis
- Relatively cheap
- Simple to use
- Can be worn all night after some getting used to. Be carefull if you experience pain though. This should not happen, so stop the treatment then and consult a doctor
- The ankle is not being locked as much as with the night splint and is allowed to move
- It prevents pain in the heel and ankle after getting up
- It is a perfect addition to other treatments, like rest, shockwave therapy, exercises
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.
Strassburg Sock instructions on Youtube
In this short video you can easily see how the Strassburg Sock should be applied:
Other Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spur Socks
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:
- Basko Stretchup Sock
- Novamed Heel Spur Sock
- Powerstep Ultrastretch Night Sock
- Ultimate Performance Plantar fascia sock
- Pro-Tec Athletics Soft Night Splint
- BraceAbility Plantar Fasciitis Soft Night Sock Stretching Splint Boot
- And more....