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Re: Strapping (I am the guy using the ace bandages.)

Posted by dang dave on 1/12/00 at 00:00 (014640)

Hey, I am that guy. They seem to help but they do tend to loosen up through the night at least by the time I awake. 'Til I read the article I posted above by the doctors I didn't know exactly what the purpose of night splints were except for vague reasons of stretching the calve muscle and tendons (which has an over 85% success rate) which for some reason releaves pressure upon the plantar fascia's attachment at the heel bone.

I learned from the above article (see my post today above) that the goal of a night splint is merely to keep the angle of the foot sole at about 90 degrees or less in relation with the lower leg. In other words, feet should be curled up slightly towards knees not down as normally in sleep. Normally we sleep in a position of often curling our toes and elongating our feet towards the foot of the bed tightening both the plantar fascia and calf muscles. (I had often had cramps in the morning as a result I recall now. ) My method is to use a stretching 2 and half inch wide bandage (mine a no name brand for about 2 or 3 dollars apiece) where while wearing thick socks at bed time I start at the big toe and and loosely wrap from there up about 8 inches to the back of my calve and back to under my toes and ball of my foot and back and forth until about a foot of wrap is left and then go under my arch and back around to the top of foot and cinching it up not too tightly (but doing this with my foot and toes curled up with the most comfortable but steep angle as possible.) then the tape stretches and pretty much allows the foot to relax at about a 90 degree angle. A Strassberg sock which is mentioned at this web site does a similar thing. I have a few doubts about my effectiveness of wrapping... but I am getting better since trying it. (my stretchs and other exercises though are also helpful.... and comfortable shoes, boots and insoles too.)

I had sent small e mail photos to another person from here (she hasn't had a response at trying it yet ) my e mail is davepell@together.net

I should probably get a web site for my various pictures.... but I will admit that my method although more comfortable may not be as effective as the commercial splint avail for a little over a hundred dollars here on this site or elsewhere.....

Trouble is that splint is bulky and perhaps very distracting to bed partners.... but I am single now so that's not a problem. Also not comfortable to have the equivalent of 'skiboots' in bed.

Someone said here or elsewhere said that a doctor recommended just that, wearing skiboots to bed.... now that I see the motive for the splint (90 degree or less angle between foot and leg), probably that's not a bad solution if you have skiboots already in your closet. Sounds disagreeable and maybe won't help a lot of marriages.

Since I am getting better, I'll continue with my cheap wrap method. But I am not getting the acute angle if even 90 degrees throughout the night as eventually the wrap loosens up and the back of it is down next to my heel by morning. But even a couple of hours of stretching probably is makeing a difference.... and I am never uncomfortable. (If I wrap too tightly, I feel it and then loosen it until max. comfort and angle retention is found .. .and then fall off to sleep soundly... I am also using the clasps with the 'ace-type stretch bandages' to help hold up the back of the leg part of the wrap to my socks....)

I also think the commercial splint may be too loose in that only three vecro straps hold the leg and foot in place (the one with the blue plastic... ) and that the natural curling of toes and stretching down of the foot towards the foot of the bed... probably mitigates the effectiveness of the splint too.

Nancy S., if you read this, I'd suggest using that 'wedge' mentioned to give more upward angle to the splint, make it as steep as possible while painfree... as through the night the leg and feet will invaribly creep to a more flatter angle... especially if only 3 velcro straps are holding the foot and leg... a lot of 'creepage' may be mitigating the stretch avail too with the commerical splint....

I am thinking of designing my own splint.... with less obtrusive materials and nearly no profile. Probably would still have to wear a thick sock though (maybe plastic pvc pipe ripped down the middle? or better a fiberglass or plastic cast with more straps esp at the ankle to keep the 'creeping' of the foot downward less... but flexible enough to allow some movement (like who knows how much we flex our feet in 'dream states'???? )

probably the other reason the commercial one is the way it is that it allows bare feet wearing which requires more padding thus why it is so bulky. (We are perhaps lucky to be suffering in the winter months... look on the bright side!)