A Guide to Night Splints, Nuances, and Needs!
What are Night Splints?
Night splints are a classic treatment for conditions like Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis. They stretch the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel, preventing it from contracting. Wearing night splints every night for up to several months gradually reduces the frequency of use as symptoms subside. These splints lift the toes and hold the foot in a gentle stretch.
What are they used for?
As mentioned earlier, night splints treat conditions like Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis, which are common causes of recurring foot pain. Plantar fascia is a narrow band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, between the heels and toes. It is more common in heavy individuals, pregnant women, and those with poor arch support. Achilles tendonitis is another common cause of foot pain, resulting from chronic inflammation caused by frequent exercise. You can read more about these conditions here.
How do they work?
- Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a condition where rest is crucial for recovery, but it can worsen the pain. To alleviate the pain, it’s essential to balance periods of rest with gentle stretches. Night splints are similar to boots or socks, and help relieve plantar fasciitis pain by lifting toes and holding the foot in a gentle stretch. Wearing a night splint doesn’t feel painful, but it helps maintain the plantar fascia’s length and reduce inflammation and pain. When waking up, removing the splint prevents the fascia from tightening, allowing for less pain during the first steps of the day.
- Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon, the strongest tendon in the body, is crucial for daily activities and athletics. However, if left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can lead to pain, swelling, and irritation, increasing the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture that can only be treated surgically. Night splints are often recommended as a treatment for Achilles tendonitis, as they relieve discomfort and promote faster healing. These splints work by holding the ankle in a neutral position, preventing the shortening of the plantar fascia or calf muscles. Wearing night splints at night ensures at least 8 hours of sound sleep, reducing pain and combating inflammation.
With all that said, we have reached the end of our article. We have covered the basics of Night Splints and how to use them. For more information go to GulfPhysio.com!
Disclaimer: GulfPhysio.com and all of its content are for informational purposes only. All information is believed to be accurate at the time of posting and should NOT be construed as professional medical advice. Please seek a medical professional in the event of pain or injury.