The Benefits of Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints

A few days ago we posted about plantar fasciitis, a condition that can cause pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel. One of the interesting things about this condition is that the pain is often worse in the morning. During sleep, the plantar fascia tightens up. When the patient steps out of bed in the morning, the pressure of body weight on this tightened ligament can make the pain particularly acute. Most of the time pain will decrease as the tissue warms up, though it can return if the ligament is overworked.

Luckily, there are a number of different plantar fasciitis night splints that help alleviate the pain that patients feel in the morning. These night splints help stretch the plantar fascia to promote healing while you sleep.

Here are some recommended plantar fasciitis night splints:

P.S. These night splints can also help with Achilles tendonitis!

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes, becomes inflamed or torn. Plantar fasciitis can make it difficult to walk and perform everyday activities.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by:

  • Overuse - Athletes are prone to plantar fasciitis because of the added pressure they apply to the tendon from running and jumping.
  • Arthritis - Some types of arthritis can cause inflammation to develop in the tendons, especially among the elderly.
  • Wearing Incorrect Shoes - Some shoes do not fit properly or provide inadequate support. This can cause improper weight distribution as you walk, adding stress to the plantar fascia.
  • Other Foot Conditions – Other foot conditions such as flat foot or high arches can cause the foot to be overworked or stretched abnormally, resulting in inflammation.

Wearing a foot brace for plantar fasciitis can help provide support to the arch of your foot to alleviate pain from an inflamed ligament. If you feel pain in your foot, consult your doctor for the best treatment and make sure you’re wearing good shoes!

Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis

A few days ago we posted about Achilles tendon injuries in football. One of the most common injuries in that area of the body is Achilles tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendon. When the Achilles tendon is used frequently (such as in football and other sports), this can cause wear and tear. People with Achilles tendonitis tend to experience pain and swelling in their heel and lower calf, which can get worse with more physical activity.

Here are some ways you can help treat Achilles Tendonitis:

  • Take a break from physical activities. If possible switch from high-impact activities, such as running, to low-impact activities such as biking and swimming. Rest if you find that pain increases.
  • Ice the inflamed area. Applying cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Stretch the area. Consult a doctor or physical therapist for proper stretches and exercise for your Achilles tendon.

Achilles Tendon Football Injuries

Football players are at exceptionally high risk for injuring their Achilles tendon because of the explosive acceleration and sharp changes in direction in football. Five year NFL veteran Jon Beason has never missed a game, but due to a torn Achilles tendon he’ll miss the rest of the 2011-2012 season. Before the regular season even started, more than 10 players league-wide had already suffered season-ending Achilles tendon tears.

Achilles injuries can happen to any athlete, from recreational to professional.  The Achilles tendon is located just above the heel and it helps attach the lower part of the calf to the bone in your heel. It helps your calf muscles work when running or walking, and it’s the largest and strongest tendon in the human body.

To help reduce risk of Achilles tendon tears and Achilles tendonitis, athletes are encouraged to strengthen and condition the muscles in the foot, stretch, and stay warmed up during games.  If you suffer from an Achilles tendon injury there are braces that can help stabilize the foot while you recover.

Aircast Accessories for Walking Braces

Because our feet carry the weight of our entire body, foot injuries can be a major hindrance to daily activities. Just getting around from room to room can be a painful experience without added support, which is why many doctors recommend patients wear a medical walking boot after foot injuries or surgery.

If you ever find yourself wearing a walking brace, keep in mind that there are many accessories to help make the healing process easier. Here are three of our favorite accessories for walking boots that we sell on BetterBraces.com:

Aircast Sock Liner – A soft and comfortable replacement liner to keep your foot warm and comfortable when wearing your Aircast walking brace. Helps reduce skin irritation and rashes.

ProCare Evenup Shoe Balancer – If you ever put on your walking brace to find that your other leg is now shorter, look no further! The ProCare Evenup Shoe Balancer is designed to help equalize your limb length. It’s easy to put on and reduces strain on your body.

Aircast Heel Wedge – Designed to be inserted into Aircast walking boots to provide additional Achilles tendon support. You can adjust the number of heel wedges used to the amount of support you desire.