The night splint is a device made of plastic that is worn on your feet. With the aid of velcro strip it is attached to the foot so that the ankle is locked in a fixed position. This fixed position ensures that the fascia is constantly being stretched during the night. Doing so the negative effects of the relaxation of the fascia are prevented. This should especially prevent the morning pain felt after getting out of bed.
This picture is a very simple variant of a night splint. Most night splints are more bulky, almost like a ski-boot. This often makes them very uncomfortable to wear at night. Some patients find it quite hard to wear them long enough for a full treatment.
Typically a night splint should be worn for about 2-3 months before you can really expect some results. In rare cases patients already feel a relief after a few days, but you should more count in weeks or months. If no relief is felt after 2 months at all you should stop the treatment. The succes ratio of the night splint in fighting plantar fasciitis is estimated somewhere between 25% and 50%.
A cheaper alternative to the night splint could the Strassburg Sock. It is less bulky, and does not lock the foot as much as the night splint. It is basically a long sock. From the toes a piece of velcro runs to the knees, pulling up the toes. These socks are a bit cheaper, but are less durable.
After surgical treatments, a night splint can even be custom made for your leg, made of plaster, like this:
This ensures the splint exactly fits your leg and the exact angle that is required is achieved. The downside is that these splints are quite uncomfortable to sleep with.