Running is an activity that can improve your cardiovascular health and extend your life. If done regularly, you can rapidly improve your quality of life. Unfortunately, several health issues can arise from running. Notably, plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition in runners. Although not exclusive to runners and other athletes, it is most common in those people. It is common to try to use a plantar fasciitis night splint to heal and ease symptoms.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It is the most common cause of heel pain and often causes stabbing pain when you take your first steps in the day. Typically, pain from plantar fasciitis decreases as you go throughout your day.
It is common for runners to develop plantar fasciitis as a result of the constant impact their feet undergo. Additionally, overweight and obese people frequently get plantar fasciitis because of the extra strain put on their joints.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Unlike many other conditions, plantar fasciitis does not have a plethora of symptoms. There are a few symptoms that appear in almost every case. Most symptoms revolve around pain. Notably, you could have plantar fasciitis if you have heel pain or pain in the arch of your foot. Pain in these areas is rare for people who do not have plantar fasciitis.
Other symptoms include stiffness, swelling around your heel, and a tight Achilles tendon. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor to receive tests. They can then diagnose you and give a course of treatment.
What Is a Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint?
If you have pain from plantar fasciitis, you might have thought about using a night splint for plantar fasciitis. However, it is also possible you do not know what it is other than some type of splint.
Plantar fasciitis night splints were made to relieve foot pain in people with the aforementioned condition. There are several types of plantar fasciitis night splints, but they all serve the same purpose, to relieve people of pain.
When you use the best plantar fasciitis night splint on the market, it will keep your foot gently flexed at night while you sleep. Keeping your foot slightly flexed allows the ligaments to stay long and limber. As a result, you will be less likely to experience pain when you wake up in the morning.
How Do You Use a Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint?
When you go to the doctor for help with your plantar fasciitis, they will likely recommend a combination of rest and stretching. While these are conservative treatments, they are what you need with plantar fasciitis.
Stretching is crucial to treating plantar fasciitis because it helps strengthen the ligaments and tissues in the feet that are under stress. Conversely, resting means you are on your feet less, so your body can spend more time healing.
When you use the best night splint for plantar fasciitis, it combines stretching with rest to speed up recovery. While you are sleeping, the night splint will keep your feet slightly flexed. As a result, your ligaments will stay elongated and will not get tight overnight. The morning is the most common time for pain from plantar fasciitis to occur, so by using a night splint, you will reduce your pain.
Do Doctors Support the Use of Night Splints?
Whenever a new device or tool pops up to treat a medical condition, people wonder if doctors support their use. Fortunately, studies show night splints can significantly improve symptoms in people with plantar fasciitis.
Notably, the studies found that plantar fasciitis night splints were especially useful when they were part of a day/night treatment program. Patients use their night splints while sleeping before stretching and icing throughout the day. Combining the night splint with stretching and icing means the arch of the foot is always supported and receiving treatment.
How Many Types of Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints Are There?
Before you pick a night splint, you need to know that there are two types of splints for treating plantar fasciitis. Each of them has their benefits and detriments.
Sock Night Splints
Sock night splints are designed to be very comfortable and flexible (much like a sock). A sock night splint uses a flexible insert that runs along the heel to the toes. It sits inside the sock to ensure it stays in place. Most people prefer to use this type of splint because it is lightweight and not very cumbersome. It is a good option for people with moderate plantar fasciitis.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to having a splint that only provides a slight stretch. Notably, it does not provide enough of a stretch to people with severe plantar fasciitis.
Traditional Night Splints
Your other option is to use a traditional night splint. These splints provide less flexibility as they aim to keep your foot in a more elongated position. Unfortunately, these splints can be uncomfortable for many people, but modern adjustments have made them lighter than in the past.
One of the most notable benefits of using one of these splints is they are adjustable. As a result, you can adjust your splint to stretch your foot as much as you want at night. Unfortunately, they can be hot, bulky, and uncomfortable for some people.
Why Do Many Patients Not Wear Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints?
Plantar fasciitis night splints are very effective in treating patients’ symptoms. So, it makes sense that all plantar fasciitis patients would use them. While that seems reasonable, unfortunately, not all patients are willing to wear plantar fasciitis night splints. Many patients do not like to wear them because they are uncomfortable.
Many patients have complained about bulkiness and how awkward they are to wear. Notably, restless sleepers are unlikely to use night splints because they change positions several times throughout the night.
Most patients consistently wear their night splints once they notice tangible results. Unfortunately, many patients do not stick with them long enough to get results. As a result, the night splints collect dust in the corner of their bedroom.
Where Can You Get a Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint?
If you need a plantar fasciitis night splint, you can easily order one online. They are available on Brace Direct and other manufacturers’ websites – so, you should not have any trouble finding one.
Alternatively, your doctor can order one for you. This can be helpful because they can custom order a splint to fit your body. A custom-made night splint will help you more than one with generic sizing.
What Are Other Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis?
Unfortunately, night splints do not work for everyone. They can affect your sleep and if that is the case, you should turn to other types of treatment. Here are a few additional treatment options.
The most common treatment method for plantar fasciitis is physical therapy. Most doctors will recommend physical therapy before recommending a night splint or something of that nature. Your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist to receive treatment.
When you visit a physical therapist, they can massage your legs and feet and help you stretch. However, one day of stretching and massaging is not enough to cure plantar fasciitis. It is something you must treat every day.
As a result, they will show you various exercises and stretches to help you treat your foot at home. Depending on the severity of your condition, they may even teach you how to wrap the heel of your foot in athletic tape.
It is common for people with plantar fasciitis to wear orthotics in their shoes. Orthotics are arch supports, which help you evenly distribute weight across your feet. They fill the gap in your foot where your arches are, which helps relieve pressure. You can purchase orthotics off the shelf, but custom fit orthotics are always an option.
Walking Boots, Canes, and Crutches
Another option is to stay off your feet for a while. If your plantar fasciitis is severe, your doctor may recommend wearing a walking boot or using crutches to stay off your feet. Doing so will relieve pressure on your foot and help you heal.
Unfortunately, if your foot is not healing through the methods listed above, your doctor may recommend more intrusive treatments. They may need to inject a steroid medication into your heel, or surgery could become an option.
Nothing is fun about having plantar fasciitis. It can cause extreme pain in your heel and Achilles tendon. Fortunately, there are several things doctors can prescribe to help you heal and deal with the pain. Notably, plantar fasciitis night splints are becoming more popular. They keep your foot elongated at night and reduce morning pain. It is one of the fastest-growing treatment methods for plantar fasciitis.