Night Splints for plantar fasciitis is one of the most commonly used product. You probably have heard about Night Splints from your doctor or read about it online, because this is something you can buy on your own.
Night Splints is a brace which supports and maintain the foot in a position, and it’s always worn at overnight for best results. They gently stretch the plantar fascia ligament and keep them from getting tight during the night.
Night Splints can also be used to treat foot problems like Heel Pain, Achilles tendon/heel cord and Calf Muscle injuries. After using night splints, you will notice that your pain subsides over the following weeks.So, it is important to select the best night splints for your plantar fasciitis problem.
Types of Night Splints
Basically, there are two main types of night splints – Dorsal (Fixed) night splints & Boot night splints. However, our experts have found out that there are also few more types of night splints available you can also use in case of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon problems.
Dorsal (Fixed) Splint-
It Functionally adjusted and Patient Compliance.
This is a cost effective solution for plantar fasciitis that works well for most patients, the Dorsal(fixed) Night Splint consist of a clamshell and velcro straps to wrap around your foot.
This kind of splint is light weight as compared to the Rigid or Boot or Posterior Night Splint and work perfectly.The hard plastic part(rigid show) holdyour foot from thefrontto 90 degrees and gives rest to heal, while the velcro straps hold the splint with your foot.
Some splints even have a separate velcro strap you can wrap at the bottom of your foot; often it has a cushioning type bulge on it which helps to support the arch of the foot.
As this splint is open from the back side, it allows your foot to breathe properly and avoid sweaty feet and is quite comfortable.
Rigid or Boot or Posterior Night Splint-
This night splint is called by various names like Rigid night splint, or boot night splint or posterior night splint. It is an original night splint which you can use in severe cases of Plantar fasciitis.
You can see here that this splint is open from the front and closed from the rear side, and straps are used to keep the night splint cling to the foot. It has functional adjustments. This night splintgives consistent stretch to the plantar fascia by holding the foot in 90 degrees of dorsiflexion.
This is one of the most effective night splints for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, and it also allows the foot to breathe properly. However, if not selected properly,then it may feel discomfort to sleep during thenight when you wear it.It is not recommended to walk with this night splint on.
Soft Night Splint-
There are various types of soft night splints according to different designs and brands. Here, we are giving two examples of soft night splints
This night splint has an improved design and is not as bulky and cumbersome as a boot night splint. You can use this type of night splint in mild cases of plantar fasciitis. It pulls your toes back slightly and stretches the plantar fascia so it may heal. You can put it on while working in theday and keep it on during thenight also. The front part of the footis covered so thatit may cause numbness in your toe, or it may be uncomfortable for people with sensitive toe, and it does not allow your foot to breathe.
It is very easy to adjust the strap so that you can increase or decrease the amount of tension according to your comfort. Soft night splints are comfortable in sleep during thenight.
Brands like ‘Thermoskin’ and ‘Plantar FXT Splint’ has special material that keeps the covered part of foot warm, that helps in healing.
It is light weight design. It has multiple straps with Velcro all over the foot from up to bottom. It has one outside strap which pulls the foot and maintains the stretch on the plantar fascia according to suit you. It is very comfortable while you sleep and also allow the foot to breathe.
However, it is not effective in severe cases of plantar fasciitis. Brands like ‘SIS Soft Night Splints’ comes under this example.
Dynamic Hybrid Night Splint (By Ovation)
This is a fully adjustable night splint that can be adjusted according to the patients’needs. It has adjustable Tension strap, Position Indicator Window,Extra wide Shell Design. The position indicator window helps in holding the foot in thedesired position.
Brands like ‘ Ovation’ comes under this example.
Important points you should consider before selecting Night Splints.
Branded and Good Quality – There are many night splints available in themarket, but you should choose the one which suits best to your problem. Also always consider buying a branded and good quality night splint, because these are made after proper tests and research. Buying a cheap, poor quality night splint may worsen yourplantar fasciitis pain. Thus it is worth to invest in a branded and good quality night splint.
90 degree of Dorsiflexion– Choose night splint in which your foot is held in 90 degrees of dorsiflexion so that it pulls or stretch the plantar fascia and may help to reduce the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. If your ankle does not completely touch the bottom of the night splints than there is no need to worry, the main benefit of it that it will keep your foot in 90 degreesof dorsiflexion.
Adjustable and Supported Straps –
Make sure that the Night Splints you choose must have adjustable straps, so that you can adjust its tension on plantar fascia according to your comfort level and which suits you.
It is important that the straps also give support and stability to your foot in the proper therapeutic position all night long.Straps should be soft, durable and with good velcro.
Well Padded –
Night Splint must have a well-padded, soft foam laminated and also must have flexible edges for comfort and customized fit. This will also cause less irritation against the skin.
Light Weight Design –
The Night Splints you choose should not have more weight as it may cause you feel uncomfortable to sleep during thenight.
Not Fully Covered(Breathable) –
Nights splints we choose should not be fully covered because it may not allow the foot to breathe properly. Moisture and sweaty foot can be a potential cause of fungal infection.
Check For Comfortable fit –
Choose Night Splints size according to your foot size. There are small, large and extra-large sizes of night splints. Choosing the right size of night splint will not cause discomfort in sleep during the night. Night splints should be wider from the metatarsal area of the foot so that it will cause no constriction on it.
How long are you suppose to use or wear the Night Splint?
The common question patients suffering from plantar fasciitis pain often ask ‘For How long do I need to use night splints?’
There’s not any specific duration for this. It is based on the severity of your injury and for how long you are suffering from plantar fasciitis.
If it is acute (New) then you need to use these splints for less time, say few weeks to months. While if the problem is chronic (old), then you have to use these splints for longer durationsuntil the plantar fasciitis is cured.
Initially,itis advisable to wear the night splint for short duration of time say 1 to 2 hours, then slowly and gradually extending the time each night. The ideal duration of time to wear the night splint is 4 to 5 hours, but you can wear it overnight too if you are comfortable with it. Wearing overnight will help you more to ease morning heel or plantar fasciitis pain.
List of Best Night Splints
Futuro Night Plantar Fasciitis Sleep Support, Adjustable from Futuro
This is one of the most popular night splint available online.
It is low profile, light weight and comfortable. It works great for easing plantar fasciitis pain. It is designed to hold the foot in recommended therapeutic position all night long comfortably. The material is 60% Polypropylene.
The comfortable straps maintain the position of the brace on foot, this allows theuser to walk with the brace worn, but still, our experts recommended to not to walk with the brace on, as it does not allow the plantar fascia ligament to heal. The foam used is comfortable and breathable, thus making it easy and comfortable to wear at night.
Bird and Cronin Night Splint (Slip-Resistant Tread Style)
Brid and Cronin brand splints have adjustable flexion straps provide a gentle stretching of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Soft, lycra lined foam interior is aplus, washable and breathable to eliminate heat build up.
Lycra lined foam padded straps maintain comfort across the flexor tendons. User friend center release buckles simplify application. It Comes with no slip resistant tread. Makes walking easier and safer.
Plantar Fasciitis Posterior Night Splint from MARS Wellness
Yet another lightweight, low profile night splint with thesturdy shell by Mars wellness. The three padded straps come with buckles that ensure immobilization. Dual tension straps allow for increased flexion and foot angle for the optimum pain relieving stretch. Sometimes this splint is alittle bit uncomfortable to wear, but most customer reviews say that it really works on plantar fasciitis.
Dr. Kay’s Night Splint Brace for Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy from Epica
This is yet another boot night splint available which gives agood result. The Plastic molded Shell is sturdy, firm and breathable. The good quality velcro straps are good quality and hold the foot in flexion and keep the tendons stretched.
The bottom of the splint is rubber trodden and non-skid, which makes it easy to walk at night if you need to go to wash room, still walking during the day with this splint on is not recommended as it won’t allow the tendons and plantar fascia to heel. And this splint can be used in any of the foot.