Heel spur night splint

One of the causes for heel spur or plantar fasciitis is calcium depositing in the attachment to the heel of the plantar fascia tendon. This mainly occurs when resting, especially sleeping. Also the fascia get's shorter then, as it is fully relaxed when sleeping. Using a night splint may help to prevent this process. The night splint pulls up the toes and keeps the foot in an upward position.

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.

nightsplint

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%.

An 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.

The Strassburg Sock is just 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 not very durable.