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Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by ShelleyK on 6/18/02 at 15:49 (087926)

On a second visit, my podiatrist provided a night splint for me to wear on my left foot which has the most severe pain. However, he left for the fitting, his assistant who did the fitting couldn't answer my questions, the written directions provided with the splint did not specify, and I couldn't find answers on the company's website or otherwise on the web so far. My questions are: How long a period should I expect to wear the night splints, should I continue wearing them if pain subsides, and can I use the same one for the right foot (which has some pain too) if the need arises? Also, is it better to lie on one's back (my normal sleep position is on my side in rather a fetal position and I do not know if I can control this though maybe somewhat)? And finally, is it helpful at all to wear the splint for a few hours at a night such as if watching TV on a couch at night before bed? They do interfere somewhat with sleep. I will be grateful for your thoughts on these matters.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Pauline on 6/18/02 at 18:52 (087935)

Hi,
I'm not a doctor, but I've had my share of wearing Night Splints. The one thing you need to understand about Plantar Fasciitis is that it takes time to see improvment. Usually nights splints can provide help, however, they must be worn consistantly over several months.

I've had P.F. three times, and each time I've used two night splints. Believe it or not you can get used to sleeping with them over time and there are softer ones available on this web site that you can also try.

Sleep anyway you can with them. I actually prefered two because when I would wear one I would always bang into my bare ankle waking me up at night. Using two eliminated that but I also had P.F. in both feet and needed both.

You will not see results right away and some people get no result from using them, however, I can tell you I wore them every night and did see improvement. Over a period of time you will definately notice your first steps in the morning becoming less painful. While your getting used to sleeping with it you may find yourself throwing it off during the night.
No problem it's common I think with everyone, you just get tired of wearing it. Take the night off, get a good nights sleep and try again.
Everyone is different. My suggestion is to try it for 3 months and see if you notice any difference then talk with your doctor again about using it.

My P.F. resolved itself each time in about 2 1/2 years give or take a few months. You need to know that I do not work so I was able to spend a lot of time off my feet.

Currently I am pain free, but continue to do my exercises and am carefull not to go barefoot. My splints are hung up for now, but ready at the first sign of P.F. returning.

Your doctor probably also gave you other things to go along with your night splints such as exercises and stretching. Do them gently and as often as he indicated. Ice and rest.

Make patience your friend, and make surgery your very last resort. If and when your doctor suggests surgery, ask about ESWT and if he/she does not offer it find one that does and try it first.

Best of luck and sweet night splint dreams.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Valerie S on 6/18/02 at 19:48 (087941)

Hi Shelley, I can't add much to Pauline's beautiful and eloquent post. I am not a doctor either, but wanted to second all that she said, and add one suggestion for you.

I wear one splint, and to keep it from hitting my other ankle, I sometimes sleep with a pillow between my legs from my knees to my feet. Other times I will lay on my back and sometimes prop my foot or feet up on a pillow too. I find that it's easier to sleep on my side if I use the pillow, or put one foot in front of the other, but then I am always afraid that I will plantarflex my better foot, which I just try to remember to keep it dorsiflexed as much as I can.

Good luck, and keep posting.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

nancy s. on 6/18/02 at 20:21 (087950)

adding one more suggestion to the excellent ones above. this one may be obvious, but: be sure to keep your bed covers not tucked in and very loose right from the start. if your feet feel confined by the bed covers right from the start, as well as by the splint(s), it's not a good way to begin to adjust psychologically.

i got very used to mine, and it was soft and comfortable. it's blue and made by johnson & johnson.

good luck from nancy

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. John Cozzarelli on 6/19/02 at 08:58 (087989)

Shelly:

The splints are great. If you wear it nightly and even if it is a couple of hours wearing it you have done a couple of hours of passive exercise. It may take two - three months of use.

Dr. John Cozzarelli

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

ShelleyK on 6/19/02 at 13:20 (088012)

Thanks for taking the time to provide your thoughtful and helpful comments and suggestions. The 2 1/2 years time frame sounds very discouraging, however. I may get a splint for my right foot as well, since it has a minor case of PF too. Already, after only 2 nights, I have grown more used to the splint than I thought I would. My heel has already felt much better too, though it is hard to say whether this is from the splint or from the cortisone shot my podiatrist administered.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

ShelleyK on 6/19/02 at 13:22 (088013)

Thank you, Doctor, it helps to know this.

Re: NIGHT SPLINTS WORKED FOR US!!!!!!!

bob d on 12/29/02 at 21:27 (104251)

IM NOT A DR.
BUT ALL I KNOW IS MY WIFE SUFFERED MANY MONTHS FROM HEEL SPURS
SHE HAD SHOTS WHICH LASTED A WEEK OR TWO,AND CUSTOM MADE OTHODICS
AT THE TUNE OF 600.00 DOLLARS,WHICH DIDN'T HELP.
A FRIEND OF MINE IN THE MED. SUPPLY BIZ. GAVE HER ONE TREATMENT OF
MICRO ELECTRON THEARAPHY,
AND A NIGHT SPLINT.
SHE WORE THE SPLINT FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS AND HER PAIN WAS GONE!!!!!
WE READ ABOUT ALOT OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT NIGHT SPLINT'S
SO WE DIDN'T BOTHER TO TRY THEM,
I WISH WE WOULD HAVE TRIED THEM BEFORE THE 600.00 DOLLAR ORTHODIC'S
HE EXPLAINED TO US WHY THEY WORK.
HE SAID THE PAIN IS CAUSED BY TEAR'S IN THE SOFT TISSUE,
WHEN YOU SLEEP AND RELAX YOUR FOOT THE TISSUE CONTRACTS IT THEN HEALS THE TEARS IN THE CONTRACTED POSITION,BUT WHEN YOU STEP DOWN IN THE A.M.
IT STRECHES THE TISSUE AND RE TEARS IT!!! THE SPLINT LETS IT HEAL IN THE STRECHED POSITION. SO WHEN YOU STRECH IT IT DOSEN'T RE TEAR!!
MY WIFE SAID SHE WOULD WEAR A SNOW SHOE IF IT ENDED THAT HORRIBLE PAIN!!!! GOOD LUCK BOB D.
P.S. YOUR DR. CAN ORDER THEM FROM 'LIFE TECH' IN WHEELING IL.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Pauline on 6/18/02 at 18:52 (087935)

Hi,
I'm not a doctor, but I've had my share of wearing Night Splints. The one thing you need to understand about Plantar Fasciitis is that it takes time to see improvment. Usually nights splints can provide help, however, they must be worn consistantly over several months.

I've had P.F. three times, and each time I've used two night splints. Believe it or not you can get used to sleeping with them over time and there are softer ones available on this web site that you can also try.

Sleep anyway you can with them. I actually prefered two because when I would wear one I would always bang into my bare ankle waking me up at night. Using two eliminated that but I also had P.F. in both feet and needed both.

You will not see results right away and some people get no result from using them, however, I can tell you I wore them every night and did see improvement. Over a period of time you will definately notice your first steps in the morning becoming less painful. While your getting used to sleeping with it you may find yourself throwing it off during the night.
No problem it's common I think with everyone, you just get tired of wearing it. Take the night off, get a good nights sleep and try again.
Everyone is different. My suggestion is to try it for 3 months and see if you notice any difference then talk with your doctor again about using it.

My P.F. resolved itself each time in about 2 1/2 years give or take a few months. You need to know that I do not work so I was able to spend a lot of time off my feet.

Currently I am pain free, but continue to do my exercises and am carefull not to go barefoot. My splints are hung up for now, but ready at the first sign of P.F. returning.

Your doctor probably also gave you other things to go along with your night splints such as exercises and stretching. Do them gently and as often as he indicated. Ice and rest.

Make patience your friend, and make surgery your very last resort. If and when your doctor suggests surgery, ask about ESWT and if he/she does not offer it find one that does and try it first.

Best of luck and sweet night splint dreams.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Valerie S on 6/18/02 at 19:48 (087941)

Hi Shelley, I can't add much to Pauline's beautiful and eloquent post. I am not a doctor either, but wanted to second all that she said, and add one suggestion for you.

I wear one splint, and to keep it from hitting my other ankle, I sometimes sleep with a pillow between my legs from my knees to my feet. Other times I will lay on my back and sometimes prop my foot or feet up on a pillow too. I find that it's easier to sleep on my side if I use the pillow, or put one foot in front of the other, but then I am always afraid that I will plantarflex my better foot, which I just try to remember to keep it dorsiflexed as much as I can.

Good luck, and keep posting.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

nancy s. on 6/18/02 at 20:21 (087950)

adding one more suggestion to the excellent ones above. this one may be obvious, but: be sure to keep your bed covers not tucked in and very loose right from the start. if your feet feel confined by the bed covers right from the start, as well as by the splint(s), it's not a good way to begin to adjust psychologically.

i got very used to mine, and it was soft and comfortable. it's blue and made by johnson & johnson.

good luck from nancy

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. John Cozzarelli on 6/19/02 at 08:58 (087989)

Shelly:

The splints are great. If you wear it nightly and even if it is a couple of hours wearing it you have done a couple of hours of passive exercise. It may take two - three months of use.

Dr. John Cozzarelli

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

ShelleyK on 6/19/02 at 13:20 (088012)

Thanks for taking the time to provide your thoughtful and helpful comments and suggestions. The 2 1/2 years time frame sounds very discouraging, however. I may get a splint for my right foot as well, since it has a minor case of PF too. Already, after only 2 nights, I have grown more used to the splint than I thought I would. My heel has already felt much better too, though it is hard to say whether this is from the splint or from the cortisone shot my podiatrist administered.

Re: Use of Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

ShelleyK on 6/19/02 at 13:22 (088013)

Thank you, Doctor, it helps to know this.

Re: NIGHT SPLINTS WORKED FOR US!!!!!!!

bob d on 12/29/02 at 21:27 (104251)

IM NOT A DR.
BUT ALL I KNOW IS MY WIFE SUFFERED MANY MONTHS FROM HEEL SPURS
SHE HAD SHOTS WHICH LASTED A WEEK OR TWO,AND CUSTOM MADE OTHODICS
AT THE TUNE OF 600.00 DOLLARS,WHICH DIDN'T HELP.
A FRIEND OF MINE IN THE MED. SUPPLY BIZ. GAVE HER ONE TREATMENT OF
MICRO ELECTRON THEARAPHY,
AND A NIGHT SPLINT.
SHE WORE THE SPLINT FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS AND HER PAIN WAS GONE!!!!!
WE READ ABOUT ALOT OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT NIGHT SPLINT'S
SO WE DIDN'T BOTHER TO TRY THEM,
I WISH WE WOULD HAVE TRIED THEM BEFORE THE 600.00 DOLLAR ORTHODIC'S
HE EXPLAINED TO US WHY THEY WORK.
HE SAID THE PAIN IS CAUSED BY TEAR'S IN THE SOFT TISSUE,
WHEN YOU SLEEP AND RELAX YOUR FOOT THE TISSUE CONTRACTS IT THEN HEALS THE TEARS IN THE CONTRACTED POSITION,BUT WHEN YOU STEP DOWN IN THE A.M.
IT STRECHES THE TISSUE AND RE TEARS IT!!! THE SPLINT LETS IT HEAL IN THE STRECHED POSITION. SO WHEN YOU STRECH IT IT DOSEN'T RE TEAR!!
MY WIFE SAID SHE WOULD WEAR A SNOW SHOE IF IT ENDED THAT HORRIBLE PAIN!!!! GOOD LUCK BOB D.
P.S. YOUR DR. CAN ORDER THEM FROM 'LIFE TECH' IN WHEELING IL.