Q Do I have to wear a night splint to make my heel pain go away?
The simple answer is YES! If you have pain with the first few steps out of bed, you are starting the day out already inflamed. When you wear a night splint it keeps your foot in the right position to stretch the plantar fascia. More importantly, it doesn't allow it to contract and scar into a tightened position. This way when you step out of bed you won't be tearing the plantar fascia and breaking up that scar tissue.
If you are reluctant to wear a night splint, come talk to me. It is important that you pick the RIGHT night splint. There are many sold in online stores that are simply a waste of your money!! I wore one for my plantar fasciitis and It took me awhile to get used to it too. 3 years (and 3 marathons) later and with proper care I remain heel pain free!!