A common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain and tightness in the morning. A plantar fasciitis night splint (sometimes called a plantar fasciitis boot because of its boot-like appearance) provides a controlled and prolongued stretch of the plantar fascia overnight. The result: Significantly less pain and tightness in the morning, which assists with the healing of the injury.
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Night Splints – Solutions for Plantar Fasciitis
By Martha Mackenzie
People who suffer from plantar fasciitis may find that night splints can help relieve heel pain. Oftentimes, the shooting pain in the heel is most intense in the morning, making it difficult to walk when you get up in the morning. The pain usually lessens as you move around. To help alleviate the morning pain, a splint can be worn on the foot with plantar fasciitis.
When the foot remains stationary for a long period of time, as when you are sleeping, the plantar fascia or ligament on the sole of your foot can tighten, causing pain in the heel. To prevent this tightening, a splint can be worn while you sleep. It fits over your foot and up your calf, and keeps the plantar fascia in a lengthened state by keeping the toes and heels in a flexed position, thus relieving foot pain the following morning. Using splints for plantar fasciitis also gives the injury a better chance of healing.
These devices can be purchased at medical supply stores, drugstores, or online without a doctor’s prescription. They are available in different sizes, from small to extra large. You may want to check with your doctor to see what he recommends to treat your plantar fasciitis. He may suggest a custom made night splint specially fitted to your foot and calf. Custom designed night splints will ensure that your foot and leg are held in the correct position as you sleep. If the doctor decides that custom made splints are not necessary, he may recommend an over-the-counter night splint or arch supports.
A number of online retailers sell night splints to alleviate heel pain. There are several styles: original, soft and dorsal. The original style is made of rigid material with a soft inner core. It is designed to support the back of the leg. The soft splint uses soft material and slips on easily like a sock. The dorsal splint fits on the front of the leg and is made of foam.
Some retailers sell adjustable night splints with a built-in ice pack for the sole of the foot to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. The splint is adjustable to fit different foot sizes.
Patients who use splints as part of the treatment program for plantar fasciitis show a marked improvement in their symptoms faster than those using other methods. Night splints vary in cost. You may want to talk to your doctor to see if this treatment is suitable for you.
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