Sunday, December 29, 2013

Plantar Fasciitis Soft Splint: Move Over Strassburg Sock

Written By: Kristen Godfrey

Arg, the curse of plantar fasciitis!! It first struck me 28 months ago. Since then I've tried everything short of finding a shaman and circling my bed with magic crystals at night to feel normal again.

Granted, I'm a long way from where I started. I can now run 4 to 5 miles comfortably, and can tolerate a little bit of speed work, but it's still a slow process of testing the upper limits and then backing off to a simmer again. I’m longing for the long run…

My current maintenance routine consists of a few rolls per day on the ice bottle, stretching, strengthening, wearing supportive shoes with molded arches (pretty much all of the time, other than intentional strengthening), and of course, the ever popular Strassburg Sock. My "sexy sock" I call it.

When Kraig at the FZ asked me to test out the Pro-Tec Soft Splint to compare, I, of course, agreed and eagerly examined the goods. (My enthusiastic experimentation with every tool on the market -- while entertaining for my friends -- will hopefully not be the only thing I'm remembered for).

The verdict on the Soft Splint? Yahoo! Love it! This'll knock your Sexy Sock off.

Three main reasons you'll prefer the Soft Splint:

Your toes can breathe! And wiggle. And more importantly, spread! Toe spreaders have been one of the key tools on my journey to healthy feet, so having toes all bound up feels contradictory. (Plus my big toe nail tended to feel irritated by morning in the Strassburg).

2) The Soft Splint platform holds the foot steady and provides an even stretch across the entire foot. Your foot can turn willy-nilly in the tube-like Strassburg and you don't get that consistency. I felt a dramatic difference on morning one.

3) It's noticeably more comfortable around your calf. Less bindy feeling at the top. I accidentally wore it wrong the first night, with the Velcro strap folded back down over the sock, and that was extra comfy! (by night splint standards). Since that's not how it's designed, I wonder if it would wear the straps out more quickly... I might risk it.

If you are an unfortunate PF comrade, choose the Pro-Tec Soft Splint. I know we in the club can commiserate endlessly about our condition, but let me quickly run down some other takeaways from my experience:

Not helpful: cast, boot, minimal shoes all of the time, resting without doing the maintenance routine.

Helpful: massage, Graston, toe spreaders, custom-molded arch supports, building activity very gradually, routine mentioned above.

Nether here nor there: acupuncture (I've had results for other things, but nothin' here), …pick your self-massage tools of choice.

Decided against: cortisone shot, surgery. (Did not find enough evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks).

The most common answer I come across in PF recovery is: "One day it just goes away. " ….. Hm. Great... In the meantime, we've only got today, so let's take care of our feet as best we can and live it up! Here's to One Day!

Kristen Godfrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor who loves working with athletes and active folks, and would gladly meet you for a session on the trail! "The joy of my work is helping people move through their stuck places and seeing them thrive." Connect with Kristen at or find more at her web site


Heidi S said...

What is your "maintenance routine"?

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