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Pain studies show that sleeping in night splints can significantly reduce morning foot pain. By preventing nighttime footdrop and accompanying muscle tightness, painful stretching of the plantar fascia is eliminated.*
In the early 1980's AliMed created the first night splint to address nighttime footdrop associated with plantar fasciitis. These plantar-based night splints helped provide relief by stretching the plantar fascia. Over time these night splints have been modified and improved to address even more patient needs.
When choosing a night splint, look for one that places the foot in a comfortable position and also consider:
The Night Splint Shell - Most plantar-based night splints have a plastic shell. These shells can be either fixed or adjustable. Fixed shells maintain a particular foot position, commonly neutral or 5 degrees dorsiflexion. Adjustable shells allow for gradual increases in dorsiflexion. Finally, some shells are ventilated to allow for greater air flow to limit heat buildup.
The Night Splint Liner - Which add comfort and padding to protect the heel, malleoli and skin. Liners, when made of materials like terrycloth, absorb moisture to keep the skin dry and cool.
Night Splints for Travel or Less Severe Plantar Fasciitis - Soft shelled or compact night splints are great for traveling plantar fasciitis nighttime pain relief and can also be used to treat less severe cases.
*Powell M., Post W.R., Keener J., and Wearden S., "Effective Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis with Dorsiflexion Night Splints: A Crossover Prospective Randomized Study", Foot Ankle Int, 19(1), (1988): 10-1.