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Strassburg Sock

Posted by Andy O on 12/30/03 at 06:44 (140898)

I would like to say a few words about a product which I heard about on htis site and have begun to use. I am not affiliated with the company and paid for the products out of my own pocket.
I have begun using the Strassburg Sock at night (or whenever I take a nap) to prevent my achilles tendon and Plantar fascia from contracting. I have found immediate results in elimination of the pain which I have felt at the attachment points of both tendons to my heel.
The socks seem well made and durable. My only caution is that when I followed the directions for choosing the right size, I ended up a sock which was too small for me and irritated the skin just below the knee so much that I had to stop using it and order the large size. The large sock is better for me and does not cause discomfort. My calf measures 15 inches around, which (by their information) should be suitable for the smaller size.
Anyhow, I have found this product very helpful and am comfortable recommending it as an aid for plantar fasciatis.
You might want to try just one first to see of it helps you.
Good luck!

Re: Strassburg Sock

rsk on 12/31/03 at 21:11 (141034)

thanks for the info. I read another post in tis forum where another person said he also had good results with this sock. I am planing to buy one as my nite splint by itself does not give the required stretch for my calf. I would appreciate if those ppl who used it could share their experiences with this product.

thanks for all the help


Re: Strassburg Sock

Jane M on 1/03/04 at 16:09 (141259)

I have been using the sock for about 3 weeks now. I wear it about 4 to 5 hours a night. I can't seem to wear it longer during sleeping as I have insomnia and it doesn't help to wear this distraction . I have found absolutely no relief since wearing the sock. I will keep trying for 2 months or so before I give up. I have had PF for 2 years now. I have been to 2 podiatrists, 2 PT's, have tried ASTM, do the exercises/stretches every day for 2 years, have tried taping, cortisone shots, custom made orthotics and nothing seems to help. I would try the ESWT but my Blue Cross here in Iowa will not cover it. It is pretty depressing. I am considering surgery, which Blue Cross of course will cover. I have some misgivings however about surgery. Any suggestions?

Re: Strassburg Sock

Julie on 1/03/04 at 16:19 (141262)

Jane, this isn't about the sock. I'd like to suggest that, having tried all these modalities that haven't helped, you should have a look at what you might be 'doing' that may be getting in the way of your healing. My first suspect would be stretching. You say you 'done the exercises/stretches every day for two years'. What exercises are you doing? Some of the commonly recommended exercises for PF can make it worse, not better. If you can be more specific, perhaps I can help.

Re: Strassburg Sock

Andy O on 1/03/04 at 21:43 (141282)

The orthotics are probably the best bet, but they may take a few weeks/months before you notice a difference. I found that I just noticed one day that my feet no longer hurt. Maybe you will be lucky and be one of the chosen ones for whom Birkenstocks are a perfect fit.
I get a great fit with the Tatami extreme high arch models. If I could wear them all the time, my problem would be over. But I cannot wear them to work, and the enclosed shoes don't have the same footbed.
Surgery seems risky to me. I'd get on the internet and talk to alot of people who had it done first. I have heard reports of it making things worse.
PF is very frustrating. I'd ask 'why me?', but it isn't just me. I have met many many people with the same problem.
Good luck.

Re: Strassburg Sock and exercises I do

Jane M on 1/04/04 at 15:18 (141343)

The exercises that I do involve putting one foot behind the other and then pushing against the wall. This stretches the calves. I have the 'yoga' exercises and have tried them too but admittedly not for many weeks. I also once a day stand on the edge of a step and drop my heels. I have large rubber bands given to me by the PT and I anchor the band and then pull back on my leg, I also pull my leg out to one side like a side lift. I have also lost 10% of my body weight... to no avail.

Re: Strassburg Sock and exercises I do

Andy O on 1/04/04 at 18:29 (141359)

Careful with the exercises. Stretch too far and you can tear the attachment points of the fascia. Stretch gently and not to the point of discomfort. And do NOT bounce on your feet while you stretch. This uncontrolled movement can result in torn tissue before you realize it.
These are all the traditional exercises recommended for PF which most of us have done.
Make sure that you wear arch-supportive footwear all the time, even while in the shower, and never go barefoot except maybe while at the beach and walking on sand. This may sound extreme but is critical to healing. Even a brief frolic barefooted on a hard floor can set you back weeks or months.
There are molded rubber/plastic sandals which are perfect for the shower (I have Okebashi rubber sandals. They cost about $10 at CVS or Walgreen.)
Stay the course, as Ronald Reagan used to say. I used to get so frustrated at my feet that amputation started to look good...but only briefly. I guess I was angry at my feet and wanted to punish them.
Best wishes,

Re: Strassburg Sock and exercises I do

Julie on 1/05/04 at 02:48 (141384)

Jane, the exercises you describe are the classic ones that podiatrists used to prescribe for PF, and that some still do, despite massive indications that they do not help, and often make matters worse. I have been reading these boards for over three years, and I have lost count of the numbers of people who have been harmed by them. I am willing to bet that doing the wall stretch and the hanging-off-the-stair stretch every day for two years is the reason you have had no relief and have not healed.

Both are strong weight-bearing exercises and weight-bearing exercise is contra-indicated for PF. The wall stretch does indeed stretch the calves, and it's an excellent exercise - for healthy tissues. Where injured tissues are involved, it is too strong and you are probably re-injuring your plantar fascia every time you do it. The hanging-off-the-stair stretch is not a good exercise for anyone, and certainly not for someone with PF. Your entire body weight is pulling on your calf muscles, achilles tendon, and plantar fascia. This is likely to injure even healthy tissues.

I am not a doctor, but I have taught yoga and trained yoga teachers for many years. I know a bit about the workings of the body, and about exercise, and I am strongly advising you to give up these exercises. All the other treatment modalities you have used, which you say have not helped, have almost certainly been obstructed by them. You do need to exercise to avoid muscle weakness, but stick to gentle, nonweightbearing exercise. The yoga foot exercises I posted a couple of years ago have helped many, and there are other simple, helpful stretches you can do (the dynaband you're using is fine).

I am convinced that in their efforts to 'cure' themselves, many PF sufferers 'do' too much and, unknowingly, hamper the healing process. I think you have been doing this, so I offer my thoughts in the hope that they will help.

I think you should also give taping another go. Read the heel pain book, which has instructions for simple taping techniques (read the whole of the heel pain book if you haven't already done so). Taping supports the archm thus 'resting' the fascia and giving it a chance to heal as well as relieving pain.

Re: Taping

Andy O on 1/05/04 at 05:56 (141387)

I concur with Julie on the taping. I used only three strips on the sole of the foot, as shown in The Heel Pain Book. I only did it for a few days at a time, and found that was all I needed. One downside to taping is that prolonged use can irritate the skin. Also, don't pull the tape too tightly, or you may injure the Achilles tendon. Taping rests the Plantar Fascia by immobilizing it. But the function normally performed by the Plantar Fascia will now have to be performed by other structures in the leg/foot, namely the Achilles tendon.
So experiment gently with the tape and note how it affects the rest of your body. You will develop a method that suits you.
Best wishes.

Re: Taping

Julie on 1/05/04 at 08:29 (141389)

Andy, regular taping over a period of time shouldn't irritate normal skin if a good quality sports tape is used. I think the problems some people have had may have been due to using cheaper, industrial quality tapes. Also, I understand the function of taping differently. Taping rests the fascia not by immobilising it, but by taking over the function that the injured, inflamed fascia can no longer give, of supporting the arch. Of course it doesn't really matter how it helps, as long AS it helps.

You are right that the tension needs to be experimented with: too tight and it hurts, too loose and it offers no support. The tension is regulated not just by how tight you pull the tape, but by how you hold your foot while applying it. Somewhere in between full dorsiflexion and neutral was right for me: everyone has to workout for themselves.

Re: Julie- exercises

Jane M on 1/05/04 at 13:01 (141412)

HI, Thank you for your kind comments. You have a VERY good point. I have been doing these exercises for 2 year and they have not helped. I think I will stop them and see if that helps. I will instead do the yoga exercises you have posted. The pod gave me a rubber arch that he put on top of my custom orthotics.I would think that would help support my arch like taping. He also gave me a reusable type of material bandage that I can wrap around my arch and back into the heel. I tried it for about a month and it didn't seem to do any good. I might go back to that minus the grueling stretches. Thanks again for your comments