#144 The Best Night Splint for Runners | DOC

#144 The Best Night Splint for Runners

Today on the Doc on the Run podcast, we are talking about the best night splint for runners.

I got a call the other day from a runner who had a particular problem. Plantar fasciitis was the problem. Plantar fasciitis just happens to be one of the most common problems that affects people in terms of pain in the foot, not just runner’s but all people. She was asking me specifically what is the best night splint.

A night splint is a brace that is supposed to help reduce a contracture or a tight Achilles tendon. It is supposed to make the tendon more pliable and hold the foot in a corrected position while you sleep to stretch out the Achilles tendon.

A night splint is one of the most common things that is recommended for runners when they get problems like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.

But there actually is a night splint that I think is really the best. In fact, by far the best.It is not actually a night splint, but it is something called the “Equinus Brace.” There are two reasons why I think the Equinus Brace is way, way better than any other night splint on the market, and I am going to explain why.

Equinus Brace

The first reason is because the Equinus Brace makes more sense scientifically, biomechanically, and anatomically.

Virtually every runner who has plantar fasciitis gets the condition because of tight Achilles tendons. The Achilles gets tight because you don’t stretch after you build the muscles attached to the tendon.

Your calf gets stronger when you run, it gets stronger when you are active, and it gets stronger when you do calf raises. Then eventually you get a tight Achilles tendon and that Achilles tendon can cause lots of different problems.

With the Achilles tendon leading to so many different problems in the foot, you have to stretch out the Achilles tendon.

But all stretches are not created equal. You must understand that your Achilles tendon is made up of two different muscles. The Achilles forms from the gastroc component, which is the two beefy parts of the calf muscle you see on the back of your calf, and it is also made up of the soleus muscle, which is beneath the calf muscle, or deep to the calf muscle. The gastric and soleus muscles together contribute to the formation of the Achilles tendon.

So why am I boring you with this? Well the reason’s really simple, if you want to get better you have to understand the importance of keeping your knee straight when you stretch the Achilles tendon.

When your knee is locked and your leg is straight and fully extended, you lock the gastroc muscle. Locking your knee straight makes the gastroc portion of the Achilles tendon really tight.

When you bend your knee, it’s just the soleus portion that is actually tightening up and applying tension in the Achilles tendon. So if you bend your knee and you pull your foot upward to try to stretch the Achilles tendon, it doesn’t help at all to stretch the gastroc portion of the tight Achilles tendon. It is the gastric portion of the Achilles effecting runners.

So there is really no need to sit around with your knee bent, wearing a night splint all night to try to stretch out your Achilles tendon. Because when you are’s stretching the Achilles tendon while your knee is bent you are only stretching the soleus portion. The soleus isn’t the problem.

The real problem is caused by the gastroc. To stretch the gastroc portion of the Achilles you have to keep your knee straight.

If you are wearing a night splint you are not going to be able to sleep with your knee straight.

You cannot put on a night splint, get in bed, go to sleep and expect your knee to stay straight all night. It doesn’t work.

I have tried night splints. I have used night splints. I have tried a bunch of different night splints and your knee is not straight when you are wearing a night splint.

So that is the first point is it anatomically, it just doesn’t really make that much sense to use a night splint if you have a gastroc equinus (that is the term for a tight Achilles tendon that is related to the gastroc portion of the Achilles tendon). A gastroc equinus is what happens in most runners with tight Achilles tendons.

Anatomically, scientifically, biomechanically, all of that, the Equinus Brace just makes way more sense of runners, because the Equinus Brace keeps the knee straight.

Now the second reason I preferred the Equinus Brace is really simple. The Equinus Brace faster, and easier to use than a night splint.

Like you, I am a runner. I always have a busy schedule. I have to see patients, I do podcasts, I make educational videos for runners, I help runners through online consultations, which I do all different hours of the day. I am busy. I have kids. I have lots of stuff to do during the day.

We runners are all busy! I don’t know any runners who aren’t busy.

You are supposed to wear a standard night splint for eight hours. That means you really have to sleep in it.

But the Equinus Brace is much easier and faster, because you only have to use it one hour each day! One hour is easy to find.

So there is at least an hour every day where I am actually working on a computer, where I am editing videos, where I am replying to patients, even, truthfully, while I am doing web camera consultations. All those are times when I could wear the Equinus Brace. So truthfully, I could wear the Equinus Brace while I am doing a web consultation with you on a webcam and you wouldn’t even know of course because the brace is on my foot.

So the Equinus Brace is really simple to use, and you only have to wear it for one hour each day.

The Equinus Brace does more good inn one hour than a night splint does when you sleep in it for the entire night!

I can always find one hour to use my Equinus Brace to help stretch out my Achilles tendon.

Just as an aside and think I should mention that when it comes to stretching the Achilles tendon, there are lots of other stretches. This is something I hear all the time from runners.
Runners will say, “I don’t really need to buy an Equinus Brace because I can do Achilles tendon stretches on my own. I know how to do stretches, I learned how to do Achilles tendons stretches when I was in high school or in junior high in cross country.”

That may be true. I know how to do the stretches, too. Trust me, I have made videos on how to do the stretches, I demonstrate how to do the stretches in patient’s homes and I have even published courses on how to do the stretches. What I know for sure is that most runners don’t actually find the time to do the stretches!

With the Equinus Brace, you can just make stretching the Achilles tendon part of your daily routine. And it’s really easy to use it because you don’t have to try to find any additional time where you are forced to stop what you’re doing, put your phone down, put your computer down, get up from your desk and go stand, lean against the wall, and then actually do the Achilles tendon stretches.

Instead you can just put on the Equinus Brace, set your desk, and stretch Achilles tendon as a much more passive activity.

When you put it on the Equinus Brace you can just sit in a chair, watch TV, work on your laptop, return phone calls, or whatever else you need to do. You can do it while you are wearing the Equinus Brace. If you work at a desk, you can wear it while you are at the desk. It’s as simple as that.

So that is the second reason I really love the Equinus Brace. It is just so much easier and so much simpler to use than a night splint.

Simplicity and ease of use is really one of the biggest reasons to choose the Equinus Brace over a night splint.

Again, the Equinus Brace is the brace I use myself.

We even have a special promotion for you. I talked to the people at the Equinus Brace. I actually know the guy who designed it. I have heard his talks when we were both lecturing at a conference in Iceland this summer.

So I talked to the company that distributes the brace direct to patients and I asked “Can we get some kind of deal for our listeners and our viewers?” And they said YES!

I believe the Equinus Brace is the best brace to address a tight Achilles tendon in runners. I really believe that 100%. And if you have a tight Achilles tendon (like pretty much every other runner) if you have plantar fasciitis, the Equinus Brace thing is so much simpler and easier to use than any of the other braces or night splints on the market. And truthfully, the Equinus Brace is much easier to use consistently than just doing the stretches. So get it today!

All you have to do is go to the Equinus Brace website https://www.fixequinus.com then enter our special discount code DOCONTHERUN (all one word, all caps). When you enter DOCONTHERUN in the discount code box, they will give you free shipping. g

Equinus Brace

I believe the Equinus Brace is the best brace to address a tight Achilles tendon in runners. I really believe that 100%. And if you have a tight Achilles tendon (like pretty much every other runner) if you have plantar fasciitis, the Equinus Brace thing is so much simpler and easier to use than any of the other braces or night splints on the market. And truthfully, the Equinus Brace is much easier to use consistently than just doing the stretches. So get it today!

If you have a question that you would like answered as a future edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me. And then make sure you join me in the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast.