Windlass Mechanics – The Key to Plantar Fasciitis Relief
In 1954, J.H. Hicks described the foot and its ligaments as an arch-like triangle, or truss, formed by the calcaneus, midtarsal joint and metatarsals. Dorsiflexion of the hallux winds the plantar fascia around the head of the metatarsal causing an effective stretch of the plantar fascia and shortens the distance between the calcaneus and metatarsals to elevate the medial longitudinal arch. As we now know, the active application of a controlled and dynamic stretch to the plantar fascia itself is the key to plantar fasciitis relief.
The Body Armor® Night Splint is the only night splint available today that provides a specific and sustained stretch to the plantar fascia by actively and comfortably loading the windlass mechanism. Loading the windlass mechanism not only stretches the plantar fascia, but also provides a sustained low-load stretch to the Achilles tendon, posterior tibial tendon, deep flexor muscles and calf muscles.
The Windlass Mechanism
Why Other Dorsal Night Splints Don’t Work
Current dorsal night splints attempt to maintain the foot at a 90˚angle by strapping the lower leg and foot to a rigid, dorsal splint preformed to 90˚. The problem with this method is that the toes are not actively engaged and thus tend to naturally plantarflex which in turn relaxes the plantar fascia and allows the foot to drop away from the brace. When the forefoot drops, it creates a lever effect on the dorsal splint causing it to pull away from the shin. This lever effect results in an uncomfortable pressure point across the apex of the ankle and a foot/leg angle of substantially less than 90˚, both of which will negatively impact product efficacy and reduce patient compliance.
Finally, a Night Splint Built to Work with the Foot-- Not Against It
Since dorsiflexion of the hallux leverages the natural biomechanics of the foot to engage the windlass mechanism, the foot and ankle will automatically move to a 90˚ position. This way the “lever effect” caused by other dorsal night splints, and the corresponding pressure on the apex of the ankle can be effectively eliminated. A key comfort feature of the Body Armor® Night Splint is our multi-position elastic ring connector which allows the wearer to connect the toe strap to the lower portion of the splint in a variety of positions. Though the toe strap keeps the hallux in a dorsiflexed position, the elastic ring connector allows flexion of the user’s foot and toes during the natural stretching that occurs during sleep. The result is a flexibility that allows for slight mobility of the foot and toes, yet still maintain the desired angle of dorsiflexion when the foot is again relaxed.
We Got It Right
The Body Armor® Night Splint provides the most effective stretch of the plantar fascia of any night splint on the market today. Period. And it does so with a sleek and light-weight profile that provides optimal comfort and livability for the wearer. That means higher compliance from the wearer and a more effective treatment of the symptoms. It is a win/win situation for both physician and patient.
See What Other People Are Saying
“Nighttime comfort has increased patient compliance significantly. In conjunction with an isolated, increased stretch on the fascia via dorsiflexion of the 1st metatarsalphalangeal joint, this product has greatly improved patient outcomes in comparison with other dorsal night splints that I have used”. - Kevin Brown, DPM
Huntington, WV .