Painful Pirouettes? Plantar Fasciitis Socks Can Help You!
5 min read
By 
ergotoes_admin
Published 
August 1, 2022

Painful Pirouettes? Plantar Fasciitis Socks Can Help You!

5 min read
By 
ergotoes_admin
Published 
August 1, 2022

Ballerinas are some of the most graceful creatures on earth. But even these talented dancers suffer from many foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.

If you are a ballerina with plantar fasciitis, don't worry–you can still make your condition more manageable. One of those things is wearing socks designed to help with plantar fasciitis. In this blog post, we will discuss plantar fasciitis socks, how it works, and other foot care tips so you can do pirouettes perfectly. Let's start! 

Plantar Fasciitis Developpé in Ballerinas

Plantar fasciitis is a common injury among ballerinas, caused by the repetitive stress of dancing for hours. This inflammation is located on the plantar fascia, a thick tissue band running across your foot from the heel to toe. 

Symptoms

  • Heel pain that is worst when you wake up or after periods of rest.
  • Pain that improves with activity.
  • Pain that worsens with prolonged standing. 

Risk Factors

Dancing or other similar strenuous activities are not the only reasons your foot pain can worsen. It can also develop due to: 

  • Age. Men and women in their 40s to 60s can have plantar fasciitis. That's because your body loses its elasticity as you age.
  • Weight. Your feet carry your body all the time. So any extra weight you gain causes your feet to be put under a lot of stress. 
  • Work. If you have jobs that induce you to spend hours walking and standing on hard floors, you might be at risk of plantar fasciitis. 

How a Plantar Fasciitis Sock Supports Your Dancer's Feet 

Dancer stretching with plantar fasciitis socks

Plantar fasciitis socks for women are designed to help relieve these symptoms by providing support and compression to the foot. 

You can wear socks for plantar fasciitis for women while walking, standing, or dancing. Most dancers and athletes enjoy wearing these socks whenever they exercise or train. You can also put them on while resting or sleeping, but make sure that you wear mild compression socks and not the firm kind to avoid constricting blood circulation. 

So, how does this specific compression sock work for your plantar fasciitis? Here's how:

Arch Support 

Unlike a regular sock, a compression sock for plantar fasciitis supports your arch and heel. It distributes your body weight evenly across your feet, relieving pressure on your plantar fascia. While it does not give much support as orthotics, it significantly reduces pain. 

Stops Swelling 

One way to stop your feet from swelling is wearing plantar fasciitis socks. These garments apply graduated compression to the affected area to prevent further inflammation and promote healing. 

Body Relief

In worse cases, your foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis irritates nerves connected to your toes and ankles. You might have backaches due to this foot condition. This is because you redistribute your weight to avoid putting pressure on your plantar fascia. 

As a result, you strain the muscles on your back. With these socks, you can keep the pain more localized and prevent it from spreading to the rest of your body.

Cramps 

Plantar fasciitis often leads to heel pain and stiffness, making it difficult to walk or stand for long periods. In addition, your feet curl as your muscles tighten, leading to cramps. Compression socks for plantar fasciitis allow your feet to stay in an elongated position and prevent painful cramps.

Choosing the Best Socks for Plantar Fasciitis to Plié

These socks vary in length and design. But you should consider the two most important factors when purchasing a pair: compression and fabric. 

Compression 

Consider how much pressure you want to apply to your plantar fasciitis foot. Many dancers find gentle compression effective in reducing pain in their plantar fascia. But you may need to experiment or check with your podiatrist for proper compression. 

Check out the degree of compression at different pressures. 

Pressure (mmHg) Level of Compression
8-15 mild
15-20moderate
20-30firm
30-40extra firm

Fabric 

Ballet dancers can dance barefoot, but if you practice many hours a day, your aching feet will sweat, causing you to slip or fall. Plantar fasciitis socks vary from fiber-spandex to polyamide. Nevertheless, pick compression socks that are breathable and moisture-wicking. 

An Assemblé of Non-Surgical Treatments 

You do not have to rely solely on a pair of graduated compression socks for pain relief. Treatment for plantar fasciitis usually involves a combination of the following treatment. With proper treatment, women recover in a few months. 

Rest 

As much as you want to perfect your penché, you mustn't overdo dancing. Lessening the number of hours or even stopping ballet for a while can relieve your feet. 

Ice 

You can reduce the swelling on your feet by putting on an ice pack for about 20 minutes three to four times a day. But if your feet lack proper blood flow due to constant traction, it's better to skip ice therapy. 

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medication

In some cases where you need to continue ballet but the pain is unbearable, you can opt for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation. However, they should only be used short-term, as they may cause side effects such as stomach upset or ulcers.

If you are considering taking medication for plantar fasciitis, talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

Exercise

Stretching and strengthening the muscles and connective tissue in the foot can help reduce inflammation and pain since tight muscles aggravate plantar fasciitis.

In a standing position, slowly shift your weight onto one foot and raise your heel to stand on your toes. Next, gently press your calf muscle until your feet stretch. Hold it for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other foot. 

You can also stretch in a sitting position by wrapping a towel or strap around the ball of your foot and pulling it.

If your feet have chronic overpronation, you should skip this treatment to prevent your fascia from overstretching. 

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment that uses high-energy sound waves on your foot to promote healing. It is most commonly used to treat problems with the muscles, tendons, and bones, such as plantar fasciitis. 

The sound waves create a shockwave that passes through the skin to the underlying bone. This results in a series of micro-traumas stimulating your body to heal your plantar fascia naturally.

Cortisone Injections

The cortisone shots can suppress pain and reduce inflammation longer than pain medications, thus speeding up the healing process. But your doctor may limit this treatment as it can tear your plantar fascia, leading to chronic pain and flat foot.

Do a Grand Jete Gracefully With These Foot Care Tips 

If you are a ballerina with no plantar fasciitis, that's good news! However, with your hours of devoting yourself to the dance floor, you can potentially have this foot pain. To avoid this, make it a habit to:

  • Wear shoes with good support for your feet. 
  • Stretch your calf muscles and Achilles tendon regularly.
  • Reduce or avoid high-impact activities if you are prone to heel pain. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Final Thoughts 

As a professional ballerina, you know the importance of having strong and healthy feet. Many dancers develop plantar fasciitis due to their strenuous routines. If you are struggling with this condition, wearing plantar fasciitis socks can help support your feet and alleviate some pain. 

Follow our other foot care tips to keep your feet en pointe. For more information on taking care of your dancer's feet, explore our other foot care guides here at Ergotoes. 

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