Plantar fasciitis happens when the ligament that attaches the heel bone to the toes becomes overly stretched. This results in pain. Pain from this condition is described as burning or stinging. This pain is often more severe in the morning. Those first steps in the morning are painful because the muscle and the ligament slowly contract and tighten over the night. When an individual takes the first few steps in the morning, the ligament stretches quickly resulting in small tears.
More than 90% of patients with plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months of starting simple treatment methods. One type of treatment for this condition is a night splint. A night splint is a brace that attaches to not only the foot, but also the ankle and the lower leg and is worn at night when you go bed. It resembles a snowboarding boot. Some feature a strap extending from the toes to the ankle that provides continuous stretching of the plantar fascia ligament. Its intended purpose is to stretch the plantar fascia ligament and calf muscle while you sleep, which is to minimize stress on the inflamed area on the foot. Some findings have claimed that night splints have helped reduce initial pain after getting out of the bed in the morning.
One study suggested that night splints showed an improvement of symptoms in 80% in patients. It is also the recommeded treatment for an individual that has been suffering with the condition for over twelve months.
Once an individual starts to see an improvement in symptoms, it is important to wear proper and supportive footwear and also to stretch the ligament and calf muscle to prevent re-injury.
A night splint for plantar fasciitis ranges in price from $25.00 to $120.00 depending on the brand. They are available at most drug or retail stores.