Plantar Fasciitis is extremely uncomfortable, to say the least. There is no one size fits all solution or cure to make the condition go away. But there are many ‘small things’ you can do that together might just help you cure the condition for good…or at least make living with PF manageable.

Most of the time, podiatrists recommend a combination of rest, reducing inflammation, stretches, and wearing night splints. These are suggested to be used over a period of time to reduce the swelling of the ligaments, and help keep the pain away. Depending on the severity of your Plantar Fasciitis, more intervention may be required that could involve physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or even surgery. It is important to talk to your doctor about the right treatment plan for your individual condition.

However, one of the first (and best) things you can do right away is get your hands on a pair of supportive shoes for plantar fasciitis…and a good night splints. The good news here is that night splints are easy to find and cheap, so there’s no reason why you should avoid buying one.

What are Night Splints?

deluxe_plantar_fasciitis_night_splint

Night splints are one of the most standard treatments for Plantar Fasciitis, according to Podiatry Today. The splint attaches to one ankle, along the back of your foot, and cradles it in place to hold your foot in a gentle stretching position throughout the night. While the night splints are in place, they elongate the plantar fascia. By doing this through the night on a regular basis, those with Plantar Fasciitis experience less pain in the morning when they wake up because the ligaments and tendons in the feet are elongated. Your foot will not be able to flex better and have more stability because of the elongated ligaments in your feet. Over time, you will experience less micro tears because the tendons and ligaments will be better able to stretch.

What Night Splints Can do for Plantar Fasciitis

Once you secure the night splint on your ankle and foot, it will gently stretch the structures in your foot, specifically the ligaments and tendons. The main structures that the splint works on are the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. By stretching these on a regular basis, the tension on the plantar fascia is reduced, which decreases the overall inflammation along with the chances of micro tears happening. Ultimately, this helps to relieve the pain from Plantar Fasciitis. The night splints are designed to reduce inflammation and pain over time because it does take a little while to stretch out the ligaments, so it may take a few days or a week for you to start seeing results. Yet, once they start working you will notice a big improvement in a reduction of pain and the overall health of your feet.

How to Use Night Splints

Night splints are self-applied at home before you go to bed. To put them on, your knee should be bent and make sure your heel is firmly placed in the heel area of the splint. Depending on the type of splint you have, secure the straps over your feet and ankles to ensure the splint stays on. Many types of night splints can be adjusted for the right amount of stretch. Too much stretch will cause pain and worsen your micro tears. Too little stretching will not be effective so you will not see any results and still experience pain. Therefore, it is important to find what is comfortable for your each foot. Other night splints will hold your foot at a 90-degree angle so you won’t have to worry about how much stretch to apply to your foot.

Sleeping with night splints can be somewhat difficult. Many people have found success using pillows to pad different areas, such as between their feet or underneath their knees to reduce strain on their lower back.

There is some discrepancy among the doctors on Podiatry Today when it comes to how long you should wear night splints. One doctor says to wear them until you feel like the Plantar Fasciitis has gone away, where a second doctor said to use them three to four weeks. Be sure to consult with your own doctor for a personal recommendation.

Combine Night Splints, Shoes, and Exercises

Night splints are just one option for treating Plantar Fasciitis. They should be combined with wearing the right pair shoes and exercising on a regular basis to help keep your plantar fascia from becoming inflamed. Stretching is another remedy that will help treat and prevent Plantar Fasciitis. All of these together will help in both the short term and the long term in keeping your feet healthy.

The right pair of shoes can make a huge difference on your feet. Find shoes that are supportive and offer a good amount of cushioning. If you don’t know what type of arch support you need, head to a local shoe dealer and have it measured. This is important because it will affect how your shoes will fit. The shoes should be purchased for the type of activity you are doing. For example, you should have a different pair of shoes for running, hiking, and everyday shoes. Furthermore, it is important to wear something on your feet when you are walking around your house. This will keep your feet supported and comfortable on all types of floors. Wearing proper shoes or slippers around your home will keep your arch from collapsing and keep your body in alignment.

If your feet start hurting from your Plantar Fasciitis flaring up, try doing some exercises to ease the pain and inflammation as soon as possible. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to relieve the pain from Plantar Fasciitis.

One exercise to do at the first sign of pain is to massage the bottom of your foot with a tennis or golf ball. Roll the ball back and forth to stretch out the plantar fascia, which will help ease the pain. Ice can be applied to the bottom of your foot as well to further reduce inflammation, just don’t keep it on for long periods of time. Generally, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off is a good rule for applying ice.

Stretches are another way to keep the pain of Plantar Fasciitis away. Since the night splints work on stretching the ligaments and tendons at night, you can keep these flexible by doing specific Plantar Fasciitis stretches throughout the day. They can be done once or twice a day for three to five repetitions.

If you have pain from Plantar Fasciitis for more than three weeks it is time to see a doctor. They may recommend more treatments, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or night splints.

Top 10 Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

We’ve looked at dozens of different night splits you can buy and we’ve come up with a list of, what we consider, the TOP 10 picks that stand out from the rest.

 

1. United Surgical Night Splint

United Surgical Adjustable Night Splints (Large)

Buy United Surgical Night Splint on Amazon

The United Surgical Night Splint is designed to relieve symptoms of inflammation and pain from Plantar Fasciitis. It is a posterior night splint, so it fits comfortably the back of your leg, conforms around your ankle, and supports the bottom of your foot. It is one solid piece that can be adjusted for the right support.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The splint can be used on your right or left foot and comes in sizes small, medium, and large. The splint can be adjusted from 10 degrees to 90 degrees so you can find the right angle to comfortably stretch out your plantar fascia. It has foam cushioning to ensure you are kept cool throughout the night while providing you lots of soft support. Our research into what people are saying found that this splint helps relieve the pain of Plantar Fasciitis, especially in the morning. Some of the complaints people had were this splint was bulky to wear and somewhat hard to sleep with.

Pros:  Right or left foot, takes away morning pain, comes in different sizes

Cons:  Bulky, can be difficult to sleep in

2. Futuro Night Sleep Support Splint

Futuro Night Plantar Fasciitis Sleep Support, 2 Count, Adjustable

Buy Futuro Night Sleep Support Splint on Amazon

The Futuro Night Sleep Support Splint is a dorsal splint for Plantar Fasciitis. This means it fits on the front of your calf and slides down on to the top of your foot. The Futuro splint is much lighter and smaller than other night splints. It is made with soft materials with open sides so your feet can breathe through the night. The splint is easy to slide on over your foot then secured with two straps.

Why it’s Effective for Night Splints

The Futuro Night Splint keeps the foot at an angle between 85 and 90 degrees, which will help ease the strain on your plantar fascia. The splint can be worn while you are walking, which will keep the plantar fascia in one position so micro tears do not get worse. This is also helpful if you have to get up in the middle of the night. Through our research into what people are saying, we found that this night splint worked to help with Plantar Fasciitis and people said it was relatively comfortable to wear. One complaint reviewers had was sizing. On some people the splint was too big, causing pressure points that were uncomfortable.

Pros:  Soft, lightweight, less bulky than other splints

Cons:  One size can cause issues

3. The Cramer Night Splint

Cramer Dorsal Night Splint for Effective Relief From Plantar Fasciitis, Heel, Arch Foot Pain, Small

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The Cramer Night Splint is a dorsal splint that will keep your foot in a neutral position during the night. This helps relieve the strain on your plantar fascia, so you will wake up with less strain on your ligaments, and therefore less pain from Plantar Fasciitis. The splint has a harder shell with comfortable material surrounding your foot.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The splint has three straps to keep your foot securely in place throughout the night. This ensures your foot is not extended too much or moves out of placing while you are sleeping. This gives the micro tears in your plantar fascia a chance to heal so you will be in less pain when you put your feet down in the morning. Our research into what people are saying found that the splint takes away the pain of Plantar Fasciitis in the morning and is comfortable to wear. Runners who have Plantar Fasciitis have noted that this works for them as well. One complaint people had was it did not work well for narrow feet.

Pros:  Keeps foot in neutral position, three straps to keep foot in place

Cons:  Does not fit all size of feet, especially narrow feet

4. Swede-O Deluxe Night Splint

Swede-O Deluxe Night Splint Foot Support, Black, XX-Large

Buy Swede-O Deluxe Night Splint on Amazon

The Swede-O Deluxe is a posterior night splint that extends from the back of your calf to the bottom of your foot. It has three straps to keep your foot in place and can be used for Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The splint keeps your foot at a 90-degree angle and has an optional foam insert that adds an additional five degrees to a little extra stretch. Swede-O Deluxe has been around  (and making Night Splints) for a long while and is an established brand. They had enough time to work out the kinks and they make a good product.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The gentle stretch this splint provides will help with Plantar Fasciitis because it will elongate the ligaments and tendons in your feet. This stretching will loosen up the tension in your feet so you will be more comfortable in the morning. The entire splint is padded to make it extra comfortable as you sleep. It comes in women’s and men’s shoe sizes, which is nice for a customized fit. Through our research, we found that people say this is one of the more comfortable night splints on the market. People have said it does run large, so that is something to keep in mind when ordering online.

Pros:  Extremely comfortable, comes in shoe sizes, removable insert for additional stretch

Cons:  Runs large

5. Bird and Cronin Night Splint

Bird & Cronin 08144802 Baker Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint, Small

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The Bird and Cronin is a posterior night splint that supports your calf, ankle, and foot. It has a plastic outer shell with a comfortable foam interior. It has three straps to keep your foot in place as well as two straps to put your foot at the correct angle. The straps also allow the splint to be customized to your specific foot and injury. It is designed to be used for Achilles tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The angled placement allows for just enough stretch to elongate the tendons and ligaments in your feet. This will help heal the micro tears in your feet and reduce the chance of them happening in the future.

Our research into what people are saying found that they have said the splint is pretty comfortable to wear throughout the night, although a few had to wake up and adjust it. Other people have said the splint helps relieve Plantar Fasciitis.

Pros:  Pick the angle your foot is at, comes in different sizes, secure

Cons:  Can get uncomfortable in the night

6. AlphaBrace Medical Night Splint

Alpha Brace Anterior / Dorsal Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint Brace

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The AlphaBrace Medical Night Splint is a posterior splint that will stretch your plantar fascia through the night. This will help with both heel and foot pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis. The splint is made of plastic with a soft interior against your skin. The foam padding is breathable so you won’t get too hot during the night. The splint comes in sizes small, medium, and large.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The angle your foot sits at can be adjusted as well, which is nice for a customized fit. The stretch this night splint provides will make your plantar fascia more pliable, so micro tears will be reduced. Through our research, we have found that people have said this splint does a good job of stretching the plantar fascia and is pretty comfortable to wear. Some people noted that this night splint fits funny, being either too big or too small. Since there are only three sizes available, it may be hard to find the right fit for your foot.

Pros:  Breathable, adjustable angle, stretches plantar fascia

Cons:  Sizing issues

7. Ossur Form Fit Night Splint

Form Fit Night Splint Size: Medium, Style: Slip-Resistant Tread

Buy Ossur Form Fit Night Splint on Amazon

The Ossur Form Fit is a posterior night splint that is designed to help with both Achilles tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis. The splint has a hard outer shell with a softer foam interior that rests against your skin. Three straps keep your foot in place and two straps are on the side to adjust the angle your foot sits at. One nice feature of this night splint is it has a slip resistant sole. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you don’t have to worry about slipping on the tile.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

This will help you find the right stretch for your plantar fascia, which will ultimately help relieve the pain you feel in the morning from Plantar Fasciitis. While the splint is stretching your feet, the plantar fascia will become longer and move more easily with you as you walk. This will cut down on micro tears in your feet and decrease the overall pain.

Our research into what people are saying found that these night splints have helped ease their pain that comes with Plantar Fasciitis. A couple things people have said was they didn’t like were the size of the splint and it can get hot during the night.

Pros:  Adjustable angle, relieves pain, slip resistant sole

Cons:  Sizing, can get hot

8. Plantar FXT Night Splint

Plantar FXT Night Splint-Medium-Men's 8-10, Women's 10-11

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The Plantar FXT night splint is different from other night splints because it is designed to be more like a sock. The splint wraps around your ankle and covers most of your foot. The heel is left out so your foot won’t get too hot. There is a strap that goes from the top of the foot to the top of the ankle so the angle can be adjusted to your comfort.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The adjustable strap will allow you to stretch your plantar fascia without over or under extending it. Make sure to stop and secure the strap as soon as your foot feels comfortable. Over time, the gentle stretching motion will help reduce your Plantar Fasciitis because the ligaments will become stronger. This also increases how much your plantar fascia will stretch, which reduces micro tears.

Research into what people are saying show that some have commented that these help their feet and was more comfortable than the rigid night splints. Some people said that the splint did put too much pressure on their toes, so that is something to consider.

Pros:  Comfortable, soft material, adjustable

Cons:  Can put pressure on the toes

9. Mars Wellness Night Splint

Plantar Fasciitis Comfort Dorsal Night Splint - Large By MARS Wellness

Buy Mars Wellness Night Splint on Amazon

The Mars Wellness Night Splint is a dorsal splint that is made for Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. It comes in size small/medium or large. The straps that hold your feet and ankle in place are wider than some of the other night splints, which make it more comfortable to wear. The fabric is designed to pull heat away so you are comfortable through the night.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The splint will keep your foot in a neutral position, which helps reduce the inflammation in your plantar fascia. While your feet are in this position, the micro tears in your plantar fascia will be able to heal so you will feel relief in the morning. Over time, the micro tears will completely disappear and the ligaments in your feet will be stronger.

Our research into what people have said show that this splint has helped with the pain associated with their Plantar Fasciitis. Some people have commented that the straps are too short so they do not get proper support.

Pros:  Thicker straps, neutral position, helps with pain

Cons:  Straps can be short on some people

10. Nice Stretch Night Splint

Nice Stretch 90 Patented Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint with Cold Therapy and Non-Skid Sole, Large/XL
Buy Mars Wellness Night Splint on Amazon

The Nice Stretch Night Splint holds your foot at a 90degree angle. It is a rigid splint that has a toe lift and a removable ice pack. If you need a little extra stretch, the toe lift is a nice addition. Furthermore, the ice pack is nice if you do use them on a regular basis because the splint has a built in spot for it.

Why it’s Effective for Plantar Fasciitis

The ice pack will further calm your pain of Plantar Fasciitis and take the inflammation and swelling away. The toe lift will gently stretch your plantar fascia to increase the length of the ligament over time. When you walk, the ligament will be more flexible so micro tears will be reduced.

We did thorough research into what people around the web are saying and most have said the night splint wonders for their Plantar Fasciitis. It stays on during the night and is comfortable to wear. Some people did have sizing issues saying the foot space was too narrow for wider feet.

Pros:  Removable ice pack, toe lift, keeps foot at 90-degree angle

Cons:  Can be narrow on wider feet

Night splints can be an important part of treating Plantar Fasciitis. The above guide will help you find the right splint for your foot type. The gentle stretching of the ligaments and tendons help to strengthen the plantar fascia. Over time, this reduces micro tears, which decreases the overall pain and inflammation. Furthermore, consult with your doctor to determine how long the night splint should be left on and other courses of treatment that should be used in conjunction with the splints.

The Final Word

Night Splints WILL make a difference in time.

It’s very important that you wear one, especially at night when you sleep. The split will help keep your foot supported and will prevent any movement or stretching that may inflame the micro tears in your ligaments that are causing the condition. It’s better to sleep WITH a night splint on than to not wear one.

Night Splints, along with plantar fasciitis shoes, orthopedic inserts, stretches, and proper rest and care, can over time help you get rid of plantar fasciitis for good.

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