13 Dec Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis
Are Night Splints Right for Your Plantar Fasciitis
When you have plantar fasciitis, pain is part of the package. Fortunately, a night splint or night brace can ease the pain and help your ligaments heal. Here’s a guide to using one and details about the custom braces we use at Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine.
How a Brace Can Help
A brace keeps your foot, ankle, and calf muscles flexed to keep the plantar fascia from shortening or tightening. Gentle stretching keeps the fascia flexible and prevents further tears.
Using a night splint means you can wake in the morning without the sharp pain that usually comes with plantar fasciitis.
A properly fitted night splint holds the ankle in a neutral position, which allows the plantar fascia ligaments and calf muscles to stretch gently.
What Type of Night Splint Should You Use?
There are two types of night brace. Your podiatrist can recommend the one that’s best for you.
Dorsal: This brace style typically has a hard piece of plastic that sits against your shin. It may have an extra strap or plastic strip above the top of your foot. This style holds the foot at a 90-degree angle.
Boot: A boot brace is larger and covers more of your foot and leg. It is styled like a boot and may have straps or laces. This brace has a plastic strip that holds your leg, calf, and foot firmly in place.
Both these brace types have their advantages and disadvantages. The one you choose will depend on your comfort level and your podiatrist’s recommendations.
Common Complaints with Night Splints
It can take a little while to get used to wearing a brace. Here are some common complaints people have with both types:
• Pressure on the toes can cause them to tingle or go numb.
• Some straps can be hot and sweaty.
• Larger styles are uncomfortable to wear at night.
• Braces with thin padding can cause the foot to slide and lose the stretch.
If you have trouble wearing your brace, talk to your doctor about adjusting the fit to make it more comfortable. You may have to change the type of brace you wear.
What To Look For
If you want to be sure your brace works and is easy to wear, look for these features.
• Open toe: A night splint with an open toe and a firm sole is a good choice for plantar fasciitis. It holds your foot in place while relieving pressure on your toes.
• Comfortable construction: Lightweight, flexible braces are more comfortable to wear while you’re sleeping. Look for soft padding around the foot and pliable material.
• Anti-slip foot protection: A well-made brace should hold the foot firmly to avoid slipping that can lead to pain or numbness.
What Are the Best Braces for Plantar Fasciitis?
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we are proud to partner with Arizona AFO, a premier manufacturer of custom braces and splints. Their line includes advanced thermoplastic orthotics and braces for every foot condition.
This company’s orthotics are designed to help you heal safely and comfortably. They feature comfortable, supportive designs in innovative materials. If you’ve had trouble using night splints in the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these.
Start the Healing
If you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, a night splint may be an important part of your recovery. At Shuman Podiatry, we are committed to your full recovery from this painful condition. Call us today to learn more.