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Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Posted by JoeA on 4/23/05 at 15:33 (173586)

I'm considering purchasing a Night Splint for my PF? Does anyone have any recommendations? I was considering the HealWell Cub or the HealWell with the straps. I have no idea though and can see pros-cons to the different models. I'd prefer not to have to try several, if its not necessary.

Any input would be appreciated!

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/25/05 at 18:37 (173720)

One model won't work for everyone but the Cub comes as close as one can reasonably expect.

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Joe A on 4/26/05 at 15:24 (173772)

Suprisingly, I found little information on these boards discussing the various splints. (I found even less - on the Web)

I'm 40 years old. I was running approximately 15 miles/week before last fall. I think I over did it with sprints in November. I started getting over this problem around February '06, but I had a relapse. After the relapse it was worse than at any point last year.

I'm pretty flexible, especially on my right (pf) foot which I have been streching to no end. (Maybe too much?)

I read that the Night Splints with straps have a stronger pull. My concern about the cub?
- The dorsiflexion retention is all in the heal hinge. It doesn't have much mechanical advantage against your forefoot. The models with straps seem like they would help with that.
- Will it be enough of a 'strech' for me to be effective?

It does look very comfortable though.

What splints would you recommend for which groups?

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Julie on 4/26/05 at 15:38 (173773)

The night splint isn't actually meant to 'stretch', but to hold your foot and ankle in a gently dorsiflexed position to prevent the inevitable overnight shortening of the structures. You don't really want a 'stronger pull'. The priority is to find a device that is comfortable enough for you to tolerate - i.e. get some sleep while you're wearing it.

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Susan on 4/27/05 at 09:30 (173822)

The advantage of the straps is more that you can vary the angle of the bend in the splint based on your current level of flexibility. I don't think you want to pull it tight.

I have read cautions against stretching for too long at a time, but I would leave that to the doctors to discuss. (I'm not a medical professional.)

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Joe A on 4/27/05 at 09:56 (173824)

Hi Susan.

I agree. I know there is a comfortable amount of dorsiflexion that I can tolerate without discomfort. Yes, I agree you don't want to pull too much. I know that I couldn't tolerate an aggressive strech for more than a few minutes.

The reason I mentioned the straps is because of the description on this website. 'It does not hold the foot back as strongly as other designs...' It makes the cub model sound like it might be lacking a little.

So, how do I know if I would be better suited by using one with straps or without straps?

Could someone that has tried multiple types share their experiences? I'm sure that it would be helpful to others as well.

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

Susan on 4/27/05 at 10:14 (173826)

Joe, another issue is the degree of dorsiflexion (I hope I'm using that word in the right context) that the splint starts with. I believe splints are designated based on the number of degrees under 90 the plastic mold is bent at the ankle. So a 5 degree splint would have an angle of 85 degrees when looking at it from the side. A 10 degree splint would have an angle of 80 degrees. A zero degree splint would have a 90 degree angle. Then the straps can give the splint a smaller angle. Someone who is really tight is probably better off with a zero or 5 degree splint. Someone who is already very flexible might be better off with the 10 degree splint.

Another issue is does the foot part of the splint extend to the toes, which I think the Cub does not if I remember correctly. If it doesn't, the splint won't flex the fascia, or not much.

Personally I have 5 degree splints with straps and they extend to the toes. I really like them. But it's really personal as to what is best for you depending on what is going on with your feet.

I'm not a medical professional of any sort, and this is all just what I've read or my personal experience.

Re: Night Splint Users - Any Recommendations?

JoeA on 5/01/05 at 08:49 (174015)

Well, I got the HealWell Cub - which has adjustable dorsiflexion without straps.

I'm finding that I wake up after about 3 hours with pain above my ankle where the strap is. I can feel a 'strech' feeling under my foot, but that is not the aggrevating pain. Its the pain from the ankle strap or its where the plastic hits the outer side of my ankle.

I tried to sleep through it. I lasted about 15 minutes more and I was trying pretty hard.