Objective: To study the subjective perceptions of benefits of the use of tension night splints (TNS) in a clinical population of patients with plantar fasciitis.
Methods: Twenty consecutive patients who were prescribed TNS were identified from clinical logs. These were contacted to understand their perception of benefit from the TNS and their outcome. Seventeen of 20 patients responded (85% response rate).
Results: There was a mean reduction in pain first thing in the morning of 2.8 points, and pain overall of 1.9 points on a 0-10 visual analogue scale. Overall function improved by 17 percentage points. However, compliance was limited with about one-third of patients having significant sleep disturbance while wearing the TNS, and 30% ceasing to wear the splint within 1 month.
Discussion: TNS appear to have a beneficial role in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis. However, the exact benefits remain unclear, and issues including patient comfort and tolerability can limit their use.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tension night splint