Those excruciating first steps in the morning, that tightness and discomfort you experience in your heels – sounds like heel pain to us. Heel pain due to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis is one of the most common podiatric conditions we treat at The Foot & Ankle Center. In fact, it’s so common that 1 in 2 people will experience it at some point in his or her life. Fortunately, there is hope to get back on your feet pain-free, and night splints can help expedite this process!
What are Night Splints?
When your podiatrist prescribes night splints to address your heel pain, you may wonder if they work. The answer is yes! As the name suggests, these splints are worn at night to help hold the affected foot or feet in a particular position with toes pointed up. Doing so provides your heel with a constant, gentle stretch throughout the night.
How Can Night Splints Help with Heel Pain?
Let’s say you have plantar fasciitis. Throughout the day, your plantar fascia and neighboring tendons stretch out. While you’re asleep at night, however, they revert back to a shrunken state. This is why those first few steps in the morning are painful, why you experience sharp pain as the tendons lengthen, and why the cycle of heel pain seems interminable.
That’s when night splints come into the picture. These handy braces keep the plantar fascia gently stretched throughout the night, which helps keep it strong and flexible. This helps patients experience decreased pain as the ligaments begin slowly but surely healing.
What are the Benefits of Using Night Splints for Heel Pain?
When your podiatrist prescribes night splints to tackle your plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, you’ll experience many benefits! Night splints can:
- Help you sleep more comfortably
- Steadily heal the affected ligaments
- Decrease your foot and heel pain
- Keep your muscles and tendons aligned properly
What Other Therapies Could my Podiatrist Prescribe Along with Night Splints?
More often than not, podiatrists prescribe a combination of non-surgical treatments to address heel pain, including the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Ice therapy
- Injection therapy
- Physical therapy
- Prescription orthotics
- Stretching exercises you can do from the comfort of your home
Conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis have a high success rate! You more than likely won’t need surgery to experience healing.
When your podiatrist prescribes night splints, you should use them as prescribed. Wearing them may take some getting used to, especially during the first week. You can ease into it by wearing them when you’re sitting and relaxed. Keep in mind that these splints will help speed up the healing process and, combined with other therapies, you’ll experience relief from pain!
Suffering from heel pain? Call the friendly and knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300 to request an appointment! Our doctors have successfully treated patients for more than 30 years and stay up to date on the latest trends and technology in the medical field to provide you with the best treatment possible.