Define the worst day you’ve ever had. And then define the best.
Seriously, what are they? And could they ever have been the same day?
Did someone get sick? Did you get fired? Maybe someone close to you died? Did you give birth? Did you win the lottery? Was it when you proposed? Was it when you divorced?
That was me, in 2003.
March was mild that year. Western Pennsylvania was either very cold, or very snowy around that time of year. But not this time.
My dad died. He died suddenly. And I wasn’t ready for it.
A few days before I received the news of my father’s passing, he had visited me to talk about my daughter’s upcoming birthday. He also answered a few questions about my car.
Nothing was out of the ordinary at all.
Fast forward two days – I’m not at work.
I hadn’t talked to him since the night he visited. I tried calling all that morning, without answer. And so, I asked my future husband to visit him and check in on him.
Unfortunately, the visit was a bit too late. He had a massive heart attack, and was still sitting in his recliner, with a cup of coffee next to him.
When my husband told me, I felt a physical block in my head. It was a time that you hear some truth, and all you can think of are ways for that not to be real. Maybe they are mistaken? Maybe they got something wrong? Maybe you weren’t hearing it clearly? Heck, maybe I was asleep?
But it was true. My dad had died.
As my sadness turned to tears, and those turned to screams of pain, my husband stood firm. He told me clearly – and he began to comfort me the same. He wrapped his over-sized arms around me. At first, they were light to remind me he was there, and as I cried, they became more firm.
At the height of the tears and the longest of my cries, his arms were firm, and loving, and safe.
life is always the same way – close, comfort and safety
Life has its ways.
My husband’s arms held me tight and allowed me to recover faster than without. A baby held during sickness and during fear or pain heals faster than simply left to cry. The simple act of a held hand from their child can bring a burly “man’s man” to tear.
Touch, holding, comforting – these are how humans heal.
And this idea extends to scientific and physical data to back this up.
When we compress flesh, when we are held tight, our body allows the speedy removal of toxins and better blood flow.
It’s simple really.
This is where my story comes together with the idea of healing with compression sleeves. By holding us tighter, by graduating the compression our bodies normally have, we can heal.
Why do compression foot sleeves work to relieve plantar fasciitis pain?
I’m sure if you are like me, when you heard compression, you likely thought of poor circulation.
In fact, my mother used to wear compression socks every night to help her circulation. She was a heart attack and bypass survivor. She was on blood thinners and a diet and other drugs for her circulation.
However, according to her, those socks worked better than anything else. She said that she would feel better in the mornings, and more awake – not that tired feeling.
How do compression sleeves work?
Compressing flesh allows for the body to more easily remove acids and toxins built up during exercise, and to get more oxygen-rich blood back to those muscles from the heart.
Oxygenated blood helps your body heal.
When we work out, our muscles pull as much oxygen as it can from our blood. As we work out harder, not only do we send back deoxygenated blood back to the heart, but we also starts to build up lactic acid as a byproduct. If this lactic acid is not removed, muscle soreness and lack of reaction and activity can occur.
Look, with an optimal level of consistent compression, the walls of your arteries will dilate, increasing your blood flow through them. Arterial blood flow can increase up to 40% during activity, and during your recovery. This means more oxygen and more nutrients flowing through the body!
Another benefit is the walls of the veins will constrict under compression. This helps to increase the velocity of blood flow through them. Increased velocity of blood flow in your veins means that lactic acid and deoxygenated blood will both get back to the heart quicker – helping to increase the rate of recovery and decrease muscle soreness.
Compression will help you to stabilize the muscle which will decrease the amount of muscular vibration. This all results in decreased fatigue.
What does this have to do with plantar fasciitis?
Better blood-flow, means more oxygen. More oxygenated blood, means your pains and soreness gets relief.
Plantar fasciitis, arguably, is one of the most debilitating short-term pain conditions.
Compression sleeves (and compression socks) can help to keep blood flowing, keeping oxygen in heavy supply and cutting down on your pain. With its stabilizing ability as well, you are looking at all positives but using them.
Biggest differences between compression socks and compression foot sleeves
One question I always get when people find out I still run with plantar fasciitis is…
What is the difference between compression socks and compression foot sleeves?
The simple answer is that it comes down to a personal choice.
For the most part, compression foot sleeves and compression socks are the same. They both have graduated compression which allows for better circulation. They both can be worn during recovery and during activity. And they both help your pain levels and performance.
In my case, and what I find myself suggesting and seeing more and more, is to wear both.
Are you looking for something to wear during activity AND recovery?
The Physix Gear Plantar Fasciitis Compression Foot Sleeve give solid support, all throughout the day. Many people have stated that they use the compression sleeve to replace night time splints and even some daytime plantar fasciitis braces. The sleeve uses a comfortable mix of 80% nylon and 20% spandex.
Another solid option is the FDA-registered Plantar fasciitis Sock & Compression Foot Sleeve from “Treat My Feet”. This local product (designed in the USA), works to increase compression and circulation in an effort to replace the need for nighttime splints and daytime splints while in recovery mode. The sleeves are also comfortable enough to wear during work, exercise and relaxing.
Do you want a compression sleeve that looks good?
The OrthoSleeve FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve looks and feels amazing. With 5 different colors to choose from, and a close, tight feel, these compression sleeves can be worn all throughout the office, the club and the gym. Most of the people using the OrthoSleeve FS6 have reported immediately heel pain and plantar fasciitis relief – enough so that they replace their nighttime splints and wraps.
The Moja Sports Compress Sleeve comes in 26 different colors and designs. If you need more security in a compression sock versus a sleeve, you will find it. You can also use their calf compression sleeve, full length compress sleeve and their sports compression socks – and they ALL look good.
The SB Sox compression foot sleeve is probably my favorite looking compression sleeve of the bunch. The colors are all unique from each other, and fit in many different environments.
As a bonus, what about some compression sleeves specifically for plantar fasciitis runners?
Simply put, running with plantar fasciitis is a hot-button in my life. I need to be able to prevent and recover from pain and soreness as fast as possible. So it makes sense to also cover compression sleeves that are meant for runners like us.
- NeoAlly’s latex-free compression sleeve and arch support
- BeVisible Sports Compression Sock / Sleeve
- Thirty48 plantar fasciitis compression sleeves
Will compression sleeves help remove heel pain, cure Achilles tendonitis and/or shin splints?
Your pain in general will see a lot of relief when you start wearing your compression sleeves during your running, working out and recovery.
But what about pain like shin splints, which is very common in new and experienced runners? What about Achilles tendonitis? What about the nagging sensation of heel pain?
These might not seem the same as plantar fasciitis, but their discomfort and ability to block our running and walking are very similar.
Or, in the case of heel pain and plantar fasciitis, they be pretty closely related…
Compression devices can, indeed, help the pain and recovery time of these disorders. And, the best part, is by being proactive, you can also use them as a preventative measure.
Now, even though I give you my thumbs up for using compression sleeves to help, it still never does remove the need to consult a physician first.
So, be sure to make an appointment first. This way, you aren’t internet-diagnosing your condition.