If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, you may feel a bit confused by the many different options available for treatment. Which is best? How do you choose? The truth is, there are pros and cons to all methods of plantar fasciitis treatment, and a combination of methods is usually the best strategy. In this article, we will explore the positive and negative aspects of using a plantar fasciitis night splint. Read on to learn more.
What Does a Night Splint for Plantar Fasciitis do?
There are some types of treatment that work well early on to help relieve inflammation and pain, while others work well in the long term to provide protection and support. One treatment option that provides both relief from pain and inflammation and long term protection and support is the plantar fasciitis night-splint. This is an item that you use while you sleep or rest to help stretch the plantar fascia and the muscles and ligaments in the backs of the calves. Tightness in this area often contributes to the development of plantar fasciitis.
It is important to only use this brace while you are sleeping or relaxing with your feet up. It is not safe to walk around wearing this item. When you wear your brace every night while you sleep, you give your tissues, ligaments and muscles a nice, long, gentle, sustained stretch that can really help relieve pain – especially the morning heel pain that is typical for people who have this condition.
Are there any downsides?
Regular, nightly use of the splint is an excellent way to treat plantar fasciitis, but there are both pros and cons.
On the upside:
- A night splint is a good investment because it is equally useful and effective in the early stages of the condition, throughout recovery and afterward.
- The night splint is an effective stretching tool for the plantar fascia ligament. This is very helpful in relieving inflammation and pain.
- You can make the most of your sleeping time by turning it into extended therapy for your aching feet.
- Regular use helps you keep your ankle and foot in the right anatomical position while you sleep.
- The splint stretches the calf muscles to help relieve the condition and prevent a recurrence.
- Relief from heel pain can be attained very quickly, often after just one night’s use.
- Wearing the splint while you rest during the day adds value to your break time and discourages others from disturbing your rest because you won’t be able to quickly hop up and do their bidding!
On the downside:
- A night splint can cost a pretty penny ($60-$80).
- It can be uncomfortable to use a night splint while you sleep.
- If you cannot get comfortable, you may not be able to sleep or rest effectively.
- If you try to use the splint while you are standing or moving about, it will not help and may hurt you.
- There is some conjecture that habitual use of a night splint could eventually make the condition worse; however, there is no scientific evidence to back this assertion up.
- The evidence indicating that night splints work as a plantar fasciitis treatment is only anecdotal. There have not been any studies into the efficacy of this treatment (nonetheless, it is the most prescribed treatment for plantar fasciitis).
What should you do?
Have a look at night splints online and at local medical supply shops. Try one on and see how it feels. If you think it may be helpful to you, talk with your doctor and/or podiatrist. If you come to the conclusion that this solution may be just what you need, see if your insurance will pay for it as a prescribed item of medical equipment.