Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints

 

When treating plantar fasciitis a combination of treatments that both provide immediate pain relief and address the underlying causes is generally most effective. Some methods may provide instant pain relief and reduced inflammation while other options treat the cause of condition but do not appear to affect pain or discomfort levels. Plantar fasciitis night splints are one of the rare treatments that do both.

What are Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints?


This particular type of orthosis is less of a splint and more of a brace that encases the foot and ankle and occasionally part of the lower leg as well. While the word ‘splint’ may be misleading the word ‘night’ is not; these particular devices were not designed for weight bearing activities and must be worn while sleeping or otherwise sitting down.

What Purpose do Night Splints Serve?


Night splints immobilize the foot and ankle in a slightly flexed position so that the ligaments of the foot and the plantar fascia can remain stretched for a long period of time. A short or very tight tendon, ligament, or fascia usually leads to the development of plantar fasciitis, and this tightness can easily occur due to standing for long periods of time on a regular basis. It can also be caused by physical activity. Plantar fasciitis night splints also stretch the muscles of the calf, which reduces the risk of hyper-pronation of the feet occurring which can make the condition worse.

Expected Outcome


The wearing of night splints addresses the underlying causes of plantar fasciitis while helping reduce pain and inflammation. Most patients who have used these orthosis overnight have reported a significant reduction of pain the following the day. This improvement is most notable in the minimal or altogether absent pain that usually plagues sufferers upon waking. Plantar fasciitis night splints are generally viewed as an excellent means of treating this condition.

 Are Night Splints Right For You?

Weighing the pros and cons of plantar fasciitis night splints will make it much easier to decide if they are something you would like to try.

Pros:

• The plantar fascia and foot ligaments remain well stretched for long periods of time, which relieves pain and inflammation while treating the underlying issues as well.
• There is a secondary stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which reduces pressure on the plantar tendon and reduces the risk of over-pronation of the foot.
• The patient’s feet and ankles are properly aligned for long periods of time.
• They are effective in treating plantar fasciitis and related symptoms.
• They are used in early treatment for pain and at later stages to enforce proper alignment of relevant tendons, muscles and bones.
• Patients generally experience a significant reduction in heel pain, which is markedly noticeable upon waking.

Cons:

• Night splints can only be used at rest; they cannot be worn during active parts of the day.
• They can be uncomfortable to wear while sleeping.
• Even casual mobility such as getting a drink of water is not recommended.
• There is no scientific evidence to support the use night splints for the purposes of treating plantar fasciitis.
• Some doctors believe that night splints aggravate symptoms and make PF worse over the long term.
• Night splints are priced at 60-80 dollars each.
If you still aren’t sure if plantar fasciitis night splints are right for you discuss it with your doctor. Some pharmacies and medical supply stores also offer rental services for orthoses, if so this may be a good way to test their effectiveness in treating your condition before you invest in a purchase.

 

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