- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints
What is a Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint?
A Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint is designed to keep the ankle in a neutral position when sleeping. A 'neutral' position is the position the ankle is in when you are standing straight, the leg at right angles to the ground. This is beneficial as it keeps tension on the Achilles tendon which in turn stretches the plantar fascia.
The use of a night splint increases the effectiveness of regular stretching as it prevents the tissues from remaining in a shortened position while you sleep. Without support, our feet rest in the toes pointed position, with all tension removed from the plantar fascia and this encourages further shortening.
Adjustable Night Splint
What to Look for in a Night Splint
There are many different types of night splint but a few simple factors tend to be the most important.
1) Comfort. Remember that you need to be able to sleep in the splint so comfort is extremely important. Deep padding covering the whole of the splint and well padded straps are key features.
2) Adjustability. Some splints are static with a rigid frame that holds the ankle in neutral position. Others are made of flexible plastic and have adjustable straps to increase or decrease the pressure. This feature can help the splint follow your progression as you recover.
Stretching for Plantar Fasciitis
Night Splints are half of the solution. The other half is active stretching of the plantar fascia. This is achieved by bending the toes back against a fixed object like a wall.
This should be done as frequently as possible throughout the day, holding the stretch for a minute at a time. Do not bounce the stretch, keep it sustained and smooth. This is the treatment part of a successful program. The use of a night splint is to prevent the gains of stretching being lost while you sleep.
The Comfortable Night Splint
Sleep is Important
There is no point wearing a night splint if you can't sleep in it. For a night splint to be effective it needs to be worn for significant periods of time and for that to happen it needs to be comfortable.
This splint has soft padding all around and no hard buckles or clips to aggravate the other leg when rolling in bed. Although you cannot adjust the ankle angle, its set 90 degree angle maintains gentle tension.
Adjustable Night Splint
This economical night splint by Bird and Cronin allow you to increase the stretch applied thanks to the diagonal velcro straps that cross the ankle joint.
The splint has a comfortable lining but a hard plastic shell and external closure clips making it less comfortable than the Swede-O.
The Air Heel
While you are waiting for the stretching to take effect, this product can make walking a whole lot more pleasant.
It has two air cells joined by a tube, one under the heel, one behind the Achilles. The bottom air cell acts as a pillow when you walk on it, slowly letting the air move to the other cell to cushion the impact. When you swing your leg forward through the air, the pressure from the Achilles pushes the air back, ready for the foot to land again.
If you have plantar fasciitis but have a lot of walking to do. This is a lifesaver.
If you want to look at a variety of other Plantar Fasciitis splints you can try an online specialist such as The Brace Shop.
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis and Treatment
Plantar Fasciitis Information
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint
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