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some splint info: don't worry about the straps!

Posted by alan k on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014678)

Dear Dave and others,

I agree with Nancy. If your strapping is helping then nightsplints are definitely for you. You can't go by percentages here because there is no telling what is right for you-- except when you get results like you have.

About the splint:

1. even if you are so flexible that the splint does not stretch you through the night it does prevent contraction.

2. you can use wedges, or stuff socks (which can be custom molded to your feet/arches) under your feet. Or if your splint is adjustable, tighten it up.

3. You can DAMAGE your fascia/nerves by overdoing the stretching, so be careful and gradual, and think of it more as contrction prevention than stretching.

4. In my experience, the three straps are not a problem. Sure the foot shuffles about a bit through the night, but it still stays angled. Sometimes the strap comes undone, but still the foot is not pointed. This is not a problem, and maybe the foot wanted it that way. I know what its like to be cooped up. It might be a good idea to let the foot shuffle about a bit we are talking 6-8 hours or more here. I certainly would say DO NOT strap the foot in tighter when you begin using the nightsplint, but maybe you might try it later. Using an ace bandage wrap would indeed work to make a tighter hold, but I am not sure that would help any with the work of keeping the foot dorsiflexed. You might bind it in an unnatural position, not to mention cut off circulation, which would be bad for 6-8 hours. If the foot slides out a bit, it's still better than no splint at all.

For some reason, even though I have tts, the nightsplints are soothing and helpful to me, maybe because they imobilize the foot like those carpal tunnel braces. I like nightsplints and think they must be great for pf.


hope this helps,

alan k


Re: some splint info: don't worry about the straps!

john a on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014681)

I have not tried any of these night splints, but have been eyeing this one I saw at http://www.roadrunnersports.com/roadrunner/product4.asp?pf_id=JSU%2D001
It seems to be halfway between the strassburg sock and the more rigid one being talked about here. Anyone have any experience with it?

Re: some splint info: don't worry about the straps!

Nancy S. on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014683)

Yes Alan -- very helpful. To prevent contraction -- don't know where I got the idea I should actually feel a stretch. I don't believe my splint was preventing contraction until a couple of weeks ago. (The splint was terribly loose, and that foot felt almost as pointed in it as my unsplinted foot -- and I continued to have ghastly morning pain for months while using it.) But lately I have been fastening the straps a bit tighter and fastening the middle one lower than I had been, and the splint definitely feels like it's holding the correct position better. Still, I have been fighting temptation to give up on it -- until your reminder that it's to prevent contraction, not necessarily to provide extra stretch. So I will continue on, and feel that it now makes sense. Thanks.
--Nancy

Re: some splint info

alan k on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014693)

they look interesting: far less bulky than mine, and very adjustable.

I have some concern about the bending force being applied at the stap only rather than distributed over a footbed, but that is the exchange you get for adjustability and the lack of bulk. Bulk is without the worst thing about nightsplints.

alan k


Re: some splint info: don't worry about the straps!

john a on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014681)

I have not tried any of these night splints, but have been eyeing this one I saw at http://www.roadrunnersports.com/roadrunner/product4.asp?pf_id=JSU%2D001
It seems to be halfway between the strassburg sock and the more rigid one being talked about here. Anyone have any experience with it?

Re: some splint info: don't worry about the straps!

Nancy S. on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014683)

Yes Alan -- very helpful. To prevent contraction -- don't know where I got the idea I should actually feel a stretch. I don't believe my splint was preventing contraction until a couple of weeks ago. (The splint was terribly loose, and that foot felt almost as pointed in it as my unsplinted foot -- and I continued to have ghastly morning pain for months while using it.) But lately I have been fastening the straps a bit tighter and fastening the middle one lower than I had been, and the splint definitely feels like it's holding the correct position better. Still, I have been fighting temptation to give up on it -- until your reminder that it's to prevent contraction, not necessarily to provide extra stretch. So I will continue on, and feel that it now makes sense. Thanks.
--Nancy

Re: some splint info

alan k on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014693)

they look interesting: far less bulky than mine, and very adjustable.

I have some concern about the bending force being applied at the stap only rather than distributed over a footbed, but that is the exchange you get for adjustability and the lack of bulk. Bulk is without the worst thing about nightsplints.

alan k