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Night Splints correction

Posted by Mike W on 2/29/00 at 00:00 (016605)

Hello Nancy,

Sorry that you do not agree with my opinions on night splints. If they help people than that is great, however the fact is that they do not help many and may contribute to a longer recovery than is necessary. How long have you been using them? Have they cured your PF?
How many set backs have you had? Do they address the underlying cause of PF? What is your medical background?

My point to Lucy and others is that we have 2 choices for dealing with PF;

Passive choices - tough it out and do nothing, orthotics, night splints, casting, anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone shots, ESTW and surgery. The main weakness of these treatments (and thing that they all have in common) is that they do not address the underlying cause of PF. They concentrate on treating the symptoms.

Active choices - Eliminate morning pain, improving muscle elasticity, self massage, icing, rest, proper footwear, lose excessive weight, improve diet, and keep hydrated. These all address the underlying cause or contributing factors of PF.

There is no magic pill for curing PF, the magic is in your body's natural healing ability. The nature of PF requires the patient to take some responsibility for eliminating it no matter what kinds of treatments they undertake.

I would like to clear up some misconceptions regarding night splints re; your post.

The Plantar Fascia is really a tendon. Tendons are naturally very inelastic and therefore do not contract or relax much. Tendons connect muscles to bones. The tendon's point of attachment is where the pain and inflammation is felt. You do not want stretch a tendon you want to improve the elasticity of the related and opposing muscles which will naturally reduce the tension on the tendon.

It is not possible to stretch the fascia without stretching it's related muscle.

Long periods of inactivity promote low circulation in the lower legs.
One of the biomechanical functions of the LL muscles is circulation. LL muscles contract and press on arteries and veins which creates a kind of auxiliary pumping action that encourages circulation of blood and lymph fluids. The pain associated with the first weight bearing step of the day is the result of poor circulation,and loading cold muscles not a contracted fascia. Night splints do not promote circulation therefore they do not prevent the damage caused by loading cold LL muscles!

Personal Foot Trainers promote circulation and therfore help prevent morning pain! Doing a calf stretch in the air is marginally better than doing nothing but it is not enough because there are 28 muscles in the lower leg that could be causing your problems not just 1 or 2.

My passion is helping people and if I see products or information that I believe to be ineffective or incorrect I have the right to express my point of view.

I hope that you find something that works for you.

Regards,
Mike W



Re: Night Splints correction

Nancy S. on 2/29/00 at 00:00 (016610)

Dear Mike,
I have chosen the active path, one facet of which, as you mention, is eliminating morning pain. As I said, the night splint, calf stretching, and stepping into Birkenstocks have lowered my morning pain from 10 to 1. Is that a cure? No. But it's immense progress.
I have had 2 setbacks. One was about 3 weeks ago when I tried a bad stretch (a person with medical background told me to do it). The other was around 6 weeks ago, when I stopped wearing the night splint -- this, against the advice of many people I respect on this board, including Alan K and Scott. I started wearing it again, and yes sir, the pain decreased as it had before. (I did find earlier that wearing the splint and doing absolutely nothing else for my foot didn't cure me. I learned from Scott's site what else I should be trying, and then the splint kicked in. I KNOW it is important to my progress; otherwise, when I experimentally stopped wearing it 6 weeks ago, I would have had no setback.)
Certainly you have the right to express your opinion. So do I.
'What is my medical background?' (I'm sorry, that question always kills me!) Ok, I am a middle-aged 'student': I am close to receiving my PhD in Plantar Fasciitis. And I appear to be on the road to recovery. The things I listed that I do for my feet, first thing in the morning, are only the beginning of what I do for my feet every day. And since I first found Scott's site in December, and learned so much, my PF has dramatically improved -- far more than during the preceding eight months of seeing doctors. (They all had degrees. They didn't help me much.)
I stand by my original report. I hope you've read the other posts here as well. --Nancy S.

Re: Night Splints correction

john a on 3/01/00 at 00:00 (016646)

Mike, I generally appreciate your posts. But as others have hinted at, sometimes you come across as a bit too overzealous in the promotion of your product.

And, is the plantar fascia really a tendon? I thought tendons only connected muscles to bone (as you said). But the PF connects bone to bone, doesn't it?

Also, you say that first-step pain is caused by poor circulation. I highly doubt this. Poor circulation may contribute to long PF healing times, but the micro re-tearing of the PF theory makes a lot more sense as the cause of the pain.


Re: Night Splints correction

Mike W on 3/01/00 at 00:00 (016659)

Hello John,

Please accept this as an apology for my enthusiasm of PFT's. From here on I will let results do the talking.

I will however express my opinions on any topic or advice that I feel is incorrect or dangerous.

The proper name for what most call the plantar fascia is really called the Plantar Aponerous. One side of it (the side that you see in Scott's PF Book picture) is a flat broad sheath. The other side is enveloped in the middle by the flexor digitorum and halcius brevis muscles. The tissue that attaches to either the toe or heel bones is the related tendon. Therefore the PF appears to connect bone to bone on one side and muscle to tendon to bone on the other side.

Long periods of physical inactivity causes poor circulation in the lower legs muscles. If the circulation is low than these muscles are inelastic and do not perform efficiently. This places excessive stress on the related tendons and the associated micro tearing and pain.

Night splints do not promote circulation. What they do is maintain the foot in a dorsiflexed position. If they help you that is great.

I think we all agree that doing something before you get out of bed is important.

Regards
MIke W


Re: Night Splints correction

Nancy S. on 2/29/00 at 00:00 (016610)

Dear Mike,
I have chosen the active path, one facet of which, as you mention, is eliminating morning pain. As I said, the night splint, calf stretching, and stepping into Birkenstocks have lowered my morning pain from 10 to 1. Is that a cure? No. But it's immense progress.
I have had 2 setbacks. One was about 3 weeks ago when I tried a bad stretch (a person with medical background told me to do it). The other was around 6 weeks ago, when I stopped wearing the night splint -- this, against the advice of many people I respect on this board, including Alan K and Scott. I started wearing it again, and yes sir, the pain decreased as it had before. (I did find earlier that wearing the splint and doing absolutely nothing else for my foot didn't cure me. I learned from Scott's site what else I should be trying, and then the splint kicked in. I KNOW it is important to my progress; otherwise, when I experimentally stopped wearing it 6 weeks ago, I would have had no setback.)
Certainly you have the right to express your opinion. So do I.
'What is my medical background?' (I'm sorry, that question always kills me!) Ok, I am a middle-aged 'student': I am close to receiving my PhD in Plantar Fasciitis. And I appear to be on the road to recovery. The things I listed that I do for my feet, first thing in the morning, are only the beginning of what I do for my feet every day. And since I first found Scott's site in December, and learned so much, my PF has dramatically improved -- far more than during the preceding eight months of seeing doctors. (They all had degrees. They didn't help me much.)
I stand by my original report. I hope you've read the other posts here as well. --Nancy S.

Re: Night Splints correction

john a on 3/01/00 at 00:00 (016646)

Mike, I generally appreciate your posts. But as others have hinted at, sometimes you come across as a bit too overzealous in the promotion of your product.

And, is the plantar fascia really a tendon? I thought tendons only connected muscles to bone (as you said). But the PF connects bone to bone, doesn't it?

Also, you say that first-step pain is caused by poor circulation. I highly doubt this. Poor circulation may contribute to long PF healing times, but the micro re-tearing of the PF theory makes a lot more sense as the cause of the pain.


Re: Night Splints correction

Mike W on 3/01/00 at 00:00 (016659)

Hello John,

Please accept this as an apology for my enthusiasm of PFT's. From here on I will let results do the talking.

I will however express my opinions on any topic or advice that I feel is incorrect or dangerous.

The proper name for what most call the plantar fascia is really called the Plantar Aponerous. One side of it (the side that you see in Scott's PF Book picture) is a flat broad sheath. The other side is enveloped in the middle by the flexor digitorum and halcius brevis muscles. The tissue that attaches to either the toe or heel bones is the related tendon. Therefore the PF appears to connect bone to bone on one side and muscle to tendon to bone on the other side.

Long periods of physical inactivity causes poor circulation in the lower legs muscles. If the circulation is low than these muscles are inelastic and do not perform efficiently. This places excessive stress on the related tendons and the associated micro tearing and pain.

Night splints do not promote circulation. What they do is maintain the foot in a dorsiflexed position. If they help you that is great.

I think we all agree that doing something before you get out of bed is important.

Regards
MIke W