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Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint

Heel Pain Treatment At Night

A foot night splint is worn around the ankle keeping it in a stretched position while sleeping. The splint is worn overnight preventing the arch of the foot from getting contracted so the foot can heal in a stretched position. Foot night splint is used especially as a plantar fasciitis treatment and Achilles tendonitis treatment.

Plantar fasciitis is a foot disorder caused by overuse of the foot. It is usually felt as pain in the bottom of the foot around the heel. That pain especially hurts right in the morning when trying to get out of bed and stand up, or after resting for awhile. It is caused by wounding the fascia connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia is a relatively inflexible, solid, fibrous band on the bottom of the foot. The specific overuse factor which causes the disorder is personal. A few of the potential causes to the heel pain are: flat feet or high arches, gait and balance troubles, vulnerable foot muscles, standing a lot on your feet etc’.

Plantar fasciitis treatment can sometimes take a lot of time. One of the problems of treating the disorder is that the plantar fascia ligament is recovered at night while sleeping in a relaxed loosened position. This position enables the contraction of the soft tissues of the foot. Hence the healing process is done on a contracted plantar fascia. As taking the first steps in the morning the fascia is stretched again and the recovery process gets back to the starting point. This is the cause for the typical pain with the first few steps in the morning. Foot night splint device is designed to prevent this problem. By keeping the foot in a relatively stretched and lengthened position all of the night, the foot is recovered in that position so it is not injured again in the morning. This process also helps to avoid the painful first few steps in the morning that are so typical to plantar fasciitis.

There are four groups of foot night splints to review:

  1. Posterior night splint is the classic traditional boot, Posterior foot night splintdesigned for the back of the leg. This is the most common device. It is usually built of a rigid plastic frame wrapped with a softer inner layer, and it has adjustable flexion angle. Although the boot can be uncomfortable to sleep with it does a good job keeping the foot in the stretched position.
  2. Anterior or Dorsal night splints are placed in Anterior foot night splintfront of the leg, above the foot and hold the foot with straps to lift the toes upward. They maintain dorsal flexion, hence stretching the foot and ankle holding the Plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon stretched. The dorsal night splint is usually made of a rigid core, and a softer comfort layer with a brace that provides structure. Most of the dorsal products have no adjustable dorsiflexion angle but they are considered as more comfortable to sleep with.
  3. Brace foot night splintThe brace night splint is usually made out of softer brace shape materials. Two braces or bandages hold the arch of the foot and the shin. Straps that connect the two braces keep the foot in a desired stretched position.
  4. Sock night splints comes in many formsSock foot night splint and materials, shapes and flexion abilities. The foot slips into the splint like a sock. A strap connecting the toes to the shin provides the desired flexion. This strap provide adjustable dorsiflexion angle. These socks are also considered as more comfortable and soft devices to sleep with.

There are a few aspects to consider as you are buying a plantar fasciitis night splint:

  1. Since you are supposed to sleep with the device all night long you should consider comfort. Soft and padded cover and straps, light weight structure and pleasant touch can all be factors while choosing a foot night splint to spend the night with.
  2. Start using the foot night splint gradually. Using it too often, too soon can cause cramping in the legs and sleep interruption.
  3. Dorsiflexion angle might be changed as part of progression in the recovery process. Adjustable dorsiflexion angle can be important feature both for treatment progression and for comfort.

The plantar fasciitis night splint is usually a part of a wider treatment program and is performed along with more treatment measures. This treatment is intended to reduce the symptoms of the foot disorder but it does not attend to the cause.

You can find a variety of foot night splints in our plantar fasciitis shop.

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