Millions of people worldwide suffer from the sharp, stabbing foot and heel pains caused by plantar fasciitis. Your feet are a complex jumble of assorted bones and muscles. One of these muscles is the plantar fascia. This muscle runs from your heel to the base of your toes and is responsible for aiding in your arch support. Due to various reasons, this muscle can develop small tears and inflammation resulting in plantar fasciitis.
If I may wager a guess, you are reading this article now because you are all too familiar with the pain caused by this condition. Familiar enough that you are now searching for a treatment option. There are a vast array of different options to alleviate the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. One of theses remedies is night splints for plantar fasciitis. A plantar fasciitis night splint is one of the most popular remedies (next to plantar fasciitis insoles) due to it’s ease of use. What could be more simple than wearing something on your foot while you sleep? Due to the popularity of plantar fasciitis night splints, there is a large variety of options on the market for you to choose from. This can be quite the stressful task if you are unsure of what to look for. Well, have no fear! This article is here to shed some light on what to look for in a good night splint for plantar fasciitis.
Our top 5 plantar fasciitis night splint choices:
Our top choice for a plantar fasciitis splint, and one of the best selling splints on the market, is the Medium Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint made by Bird & Cronin. This much-loved posterior splint comes in a variety of colors and is made for extreme comfort. It boasts a lightweight and breathable design that will leave you sleeping soundly. This splint is also an affordable option for those on a budget.
Active Ankle’s dorsal (or anterior) style plantar fasciitis night splint is another high-rated best seller. Active Ankle claims their splint is “so lightweight, cool and easy to wear, patients are willing to wear it for longer periods of time.” This is a HUGE plus since a common complaint from splint users is discomfort and foot overheating.
Price: $25.49More information/purchase
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better fitting, more comfortable plantar fasciitis brace than this soft brace from Flexibrace. With a sleek design, firm leg support and soft lining, this brace is a very close third in our top choices. This is a non-adjustable posterior night brace that keeps the foot at a 90 degree angle at all times.
Price: $24.99More information/purchase
Coming in at a very close fourth is this excellent, adjustable splint from Orthotronix. This night splint has two adjustable straps that allow you to set the perfect amount of stretch level for your foot. The comfortable padding and non-slip sole allow this splint to be worn while standing as well.
Last, but certainly not least, on our list of night splints is this adjustable anterior night splint from Futuro. This support is breathable, light and completely adjustable to fit any leg thickness. Whether you have large or dainty calves, this is the night splint for you. This splint makes sure to stretch your foot to the proper angle so you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free in the morning.
What is a plantar fasciitis night splint and how does it help?
A plantar fasciitis night splint is a medical device worn on the foot while a person is sleeping. Night splints for plantar fasciitis help to stretch out the foot and the Achilles tendon, keeping them from tightening up in your sleep. Many people have reported pain relief after only one night of wearing their night splints!
There are two main types of night splints:
A posterior night splint is the most commonly used plantar fasciitis night splint. This boot-like night splint is usually made from hard plastic with a soft, spongy interior. These splints can be a bit bulky and cumbersome to use, but are usually found to the most beneficial in plantar fasciitis recovery. The angle of the posterior night splint is usually designed to be adjustable for different levels of stretching.
Anterior or “dorsal” night splints
An anterior, or as it is sometime referred to as “dorsal,” night splint is a plantar fasciitis splint that is worn on the top of the leg. This splint is designed to pull your toes back towards the front of the leg, keeping your foot stretched out at all times while you are sleeping. This night splint is usually static, without the ability to adjust the amount of stretch placed on your foot. This is the main reason that this plantar fasciitis splint is a bit less common to see, however it should be by no means considered less effective.
What are the downsides to wearing a plantar fasciitis night splint?
Before you purchase any kind of night splints for plantar fasciitis, we recommend you take the following points into consideration to make sure this is the right treatment for you (always be sure to check with your podiatrist first if you are unsure of what type of splint you are in need of as well):
- Comfort level. The main complaint people have about night splints for plantar fasciitis is the comfort level. As I stated earlier, these splints can be quite bulky and uncomfortable if you don’t configure them properly. Also, make sure you get a night splint with plenty of padding and a lightweight build, as this is something you will be sleeping in, so you’ll want it to be as comfortable as possible.
- Leg cramping. Another common complaint amongst people that use a night splint for plantar fasciitis is leg cramps. Because the night splint is keeping your foot taut for extended periods of time, if your legs are not used to it, or you start off at to high a stretch angle, it can cause leg cramping and discomfort. This can end up greatly impacting your sleep if you are not careful. It is recommended that you slowly work your way into a higher stretch angle each night to prevent this leg cramping from occurring.
- Difficulty falling asleep. Some night splint users report that they have difficulty falling asleep due to their night splints. This is another reason to make sure your night splint is 100 percent comfortable. If you just can’t seem to find a comfortable position while wearing your splint, this probably means you have a heavy or cheaply made splint that was designed without comfort in mind. Don’t worry, the night splints that we picked out for this article have all been tested and were rated very highly for their level of comfort.
In conclusion, we hope this article was able to clear up any issues you may have and help shed some light into the different types of night splints for plantar fasciitis. Despite the few downsides that a plantar fasciitis splint may have, it is highly-praised remedy by podiatrists and doctors around the world. With the proper care and usage, this medical device can play a major role in the road to your plantar fasciitis recovery. Quite a few patients have used a night splint for plantar fasciitis as their only recovery option and have seen fantastic results! If you have any questions or have a recommended plantar fasciitis splint please leave us a comment below!