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How do you sleep with the night splint on?

Posted by francesc on 1/22/04 at 15:18 (142649)

I've been wearing my night splint for about 2 weeks now and I find that I still cannot keep it on throughout the whole night.

I usually wake up around 2AM and find that my toes are a little numb or that the top of my foot is sore from the strap and I take it off and sleep like a baby the rest of the night.

Despite this, I feel that my morning pain is significantly reduced because of my wearing it. So I've continued to do this. I tried to keep it on longer but, it seems difficult. I wake up several times a night because of the thing on my leg!

Does anyone else have this problem? What did you do?

Also, did anyone use that 'toe wedge'?


Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

edgar on 1/22/04 at 15:48 (142651)

with your eyes closed

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

R C on 1/22/04 at 16:11 (142655)

I would be concerned about numbness - especially if it results from the strap interfering with circulation. The splint I used (for a short time, and without seeing results) was secured by an Aces bandage, which was wrapped over a larger surface area, which I think might be more comfortable.

Sleep is important for the healing process; if the splint prevents it, then you might be better off wearing it during the day's sedentary periods.

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

Julie on 1/22/04 at 16:21 (142659)

A couple of thoughts, Frances.

If your toes are going numb, the splint may be too tight. It isn't supposed to be tight, just tight enough to keep your foot gently dorsiflexed. The splint isn't meant to 'stretch' your calf muscles and tendons, it's meant to keep them from the normal shortening that happens to them overnight. Have you tried loosening the straps?

What kind of splint are you using? Some are more rigid than others. The n'ice stretch that is sold here at heelspurs is supposed to be the most comfortable.

Finally, if you can't tolerate wearing the splint all night, don't feel bad about taking it off. As RC says, your sleep is the most important thing. Although I have no experience of wearing a night splint myself, I feel instinctively that it's best to break it in, and wear it for a little while at first, increasing gradually. It's also a very good idea to wear it, as was suggested, during the day - while watching television, etc.

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

Kathy G on 1/23/04 at 08:22 (142692)


I tried the N'Ice Stretch which I bought, used, from Scott. In my case, because I have a tough time sleeping in the best of circumstances, I didn't even try using it at night. I tried it while I was watching television or reading, in the evening before I went to bed. Like Julie, I thought using it some was better than not using it at all.

For me, it aggravated my 'atypical' Morton's Neuroma and the area at the base of my big toe which I've just confirmed is arthritis so I didn't use it for very long. For me, using the tilt board a few times of day works best at keeping my calf muscle from cramping up. Unfortunately, I don't always remember to use that unless it's hurting. I'm trying to remember to use it to keep the calf muscles stretched on a regular basis.

Do you do Julie's Yoga exercises? For me, that's the best way to keep my calf muscles stretched.

Good luck!

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

chrisb on 1/23/04 at 09:34 (142705)

Frances -
Just a cautionary addition to Kathy's mention of Mortons Neuroma. I tried the night splint also, and possibly ratched it up for too much dorsiflexion, and too tight across the toes. At any rate I often found that it would wake me up at night with a pain across my metatarsals. At first I would take it off at 4 am. Later I decided to be a brave boy and try to sleep through the discomfort. Because it must be good for me, right? I wound up with the beginning of Mortons Neuroma 6 weeks ago which I think was the result of this. I ditched the night splint and my Mortons has now nearly subsided, but be careful and don't overdo it. If a night splint wakes you up, maybe its trying to tell you something.

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

Jamie on 1/23/04 at 13:17 (142731)

Try the Strassburg Sock. Maybe that will be more comfortable on your foot.

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

francesc on 1/23/04 at 14:58 (142738)

Thanks everyone.

I think I may have it too tight. I also noticed that the strap across the top of my foot hurts it (I had tried tightening it because I didn't think I was getting enough flexion).

I'll try loosening it up again.


Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

Rose on 1/27/04 at 23:49 (143015)

I could not tolerate the splint, but I sleep with the boot on and it helps tremendously.

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

anne on 1/28/04 at 04:19 (143020)

I thought I would have great difficulty sleeping with my night splint (I'm a very light sleeper), but for some reason I sleep fine with it on. I'm not sure how much its helped the pain, and sometimes in the morning my calf muscle hurts, but I'm still persisting with it. sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and take it off just to be more comfortable. It might help that I sleep on my back and that's why the nightsplint doesnt interfere much, because when I lie on my side or my front with it on its quite annoying.

Re: How do you sleep with the night splint on?

Vern S. on 1/28/04 at 10:51 (143046)

I have to lie on my stomach with my feet hanging off the end of the bed. It works for me.