If you are one of the many people who suffers from heel pain related to plantar fasciitis, you’ll probably agree that the worst part of this condition is the very first step you take each morning.
You start your day off, already in pain the second your foot hits the feel. You look down at your soft carpet, marveling that it somehow feels as though you’re being stabbed in the heel.
The good news is, you don’t need to be miserable forever! If you are consistent, adding a night splint to your evening routine can help heal your plantar fasciitis. That means NO MORE PAIN.
In this post, I’m going to go over exactly what a night splint is, how it can help you and even review the best plantar fasciitis night splints on the market today!
Let’s Learn About Night Splints
Table of Contents
- What Is A Night Splint?
- Why Are They Good For My Bad Feet?
- What Types of Night Splints Are There?
- 5 Best Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints
What Is A Night Splint?
A plantar fasciitis boot, also called a night splint or brace, is something that you wear during all or part of the night to help heal plantar fasciitis. Night splints are more restrictive that a simply bandage or compression sleeve, covering your foot, ankle, and lower leg to hold you achilles tendon and plantar fascia in a constantly flexed state.
Why Are They Good For My Bad Feet?
The reason plantar fasciitis causes so much pain is, essentially, excess tension. When you put constant strain on these areas throughout the day, by the time you get to relax at night they are so weary that they contract far more than they ought to. Just like your calves can get too tight after a run.
Night splints help to gently stretch your achilles tendon and plantar fascia back to an appropriate length that will not cause pain. Not convinced? Take some time to go over some plantar fasciitis night splint reviews and read about the many people they’ve helped.
What Types of Night Splints Are There?
There are two main types of night splints. These are called dorsal and posterior night splint. Dorsal splints are the traditional version of a night splint. They have a hard backing in which you place your foot before strapping it down.
Posterior night splints are a little bit softer and more comfortable to wear, although they do provide less stretch to the area. There isn’t necessarily one answer when it comes to choosing the best night splints for plantar fasciitis–the best ones are the ones you use!
5 Best Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints
In terms of all-inclusive products, you need look no further. Splints are available in 4 sizes, giving you a more exact fit that will provide better stretch. The product also comes with a small spiked massage ball and two different wedges.
The spiked massage ball can be placed beneath the arch of your foot and then rolled along the arch and heel to aid loosening of plantar fascia, which may speed healing time.
The wedges are small foam pieces, each of a different angle. These are designed to fit into the splint, in a special pocket that is located under the ball of your foot between the padding and the brace. These provide an additional degree of stretch if desired, that can help with tight calves or achilles tendons in addition to plantar fasciitis pain.
Padded in washable lycra, you needn’t worry about staying sanitary. Wearing braces to bed can sometimes cause the covered areas to sweat, but with this model, you can just throw the covers in the wash as you would a pillowcase.
Posterior splints are already widely regarded as the most effective type of splint when treating plantar fasciitis, but this model from Nice Stretch really takes it to a completely new level.
The splint itself secures your foot in a nice deep stretch–with the benefit of an added toe lift piece. This is great because one of the biggest drawbacks to posterior splints is that many uses have problems experiencing periodical toe numbness. The toe lift helps to alleviate this issue.
Lined with a removable cold therapy ice pack, you can couple the proven anti-inflammatory abilities of ice with the stretch benefits of the splint to help make a bigger difference in your pain levels.
Nice Stretch offers this in small, medium, and large and the boots include non-skid bottoms to make walking short distance possible without removing the splints.
This posterior night splint isn’t recommended for first-time users of night splints as treatment for plantar fasciitis. It takes time for your foot to get used to being in flexion for so long, and when you are first beginning treatment, it can be beneficial to choose a model that provides slightly less tension than this model.
If, however, you have had success in the past with night splints for your plantar fasciitis pain and are searching for a splint that provides you with tons of control over your flexion, then this product from MARS is a good option.
The boot portion of the splint attaches to dual tension straps, giving you maximum control over the amount of flexion your foot is placed in while wearing the splint. This means that as your treatment plan progresses you can choose to be more aggressive with how far your foot is stretched in an attempt to heal the fascia.
In addition to a highly effective stretch, the boot is also very open which prevents it from becoming too hot and uncomfortable if you wear it underneath a blanket while sleeping.
Overall, this night splint if very effective if you want to get nice deep stretch without using a splint that is so bulky and heavy as to overheat your foot and leg during periods of long wear.
If you are looking for a little more freedom of movement while still wearing a night splint to help heal your plantar fasciitis, you might want to consider a dorsal night splint like this one from Cramer.
Rather than a super stiff boot that feels prohibitively bulky to wear for long periods of time, this type or dorsal night splint allows a little bit more flexibility through the use of a thinner profile.
This fits more like a sleeve of sorts, because it lacks a thick metal brace along the backside like more ungainly options. If you want to start using a night splint to help reverse the pain caused by your plantar fasciitis but hate those bulkier models then a dorsal splint merits serious consideration.
Available in two sizes, this splint is fastened via a strap around the midfoot and a strap around the lower leg. The only immediately obvious downside to this is that, since the heel is not completely covered/supported, the foot has the tendency to slip out of the splint after being worn for long periods of time.
The splint is designed to fit either your right or left foot and has just enough rigidity to hold your foot in a flexed position overnight, to help stretch and heal your foot.
This soft posterior night splint from Flexibrace is one of the most comfortable dorsal night splints you’ll find. Most people have trouble finding success with night splints simply because they can be so uncomfortable to wear!
Even if you know it’s good for you, you’re probably not going to wear your night splint every single night when it is so uncomfortable that you find it frustrating to sleep.
This puts you in a bit of a pickle, as posterior night splints are usually the most effective and least comfortable. This model, however, solves that problem.
The entire splint is encased in ultra-soft padding. Padding that is nice and thick, topped with a chenille like material for extra comfort. The pattern is even a fun pink floral print to help alleviate the drudgery of having to strap your feet into those night splints every night.
Like most traditional posterior splints, this comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Posterior splints can be quite stiff so you’ll want to pay attention to the sizing guide.
Otherwise the three straps that run the length of the splint may not be able to properly provide flexion to your achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Too tight and you can get numbness in the toes; too loose, and you won’t get enough tension to help relieve your pain.
I hope that this guide has been helpful to you, and opened your eyes to the possibilities of a world where your morning don’t start with pain from untreated plantar fasciitis.
It may seem like a pain at first to get in the swing of a new routine that includes wearing night splints, but you’ll be amazed at the difference they make when used consistently!
Please remember, everybody is different. All of the products listed here are great choices, but if you are having a hard time choosing what you feel would be the best plantar fasciitis night splints for you personally, consider asking your doctor for help.
They should be familiar with your condition and more able to help you make a final purchase decision so you can start living pain free.
Also, make sure you get proper shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com