When I first heard of this treatment I was very skeptical. I had many questions like how to do it and is it good for something. But after the first time I put my taped foot on the floor I knew this is the treatment for me. I will try to share some knowledge here that comes from long experience and answer some questions like:
Can a simple tape help to reduce the heel pain?
Can it help to cure plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis taping is a treatment technique involving application of athletic tape on the skin of the bottom of the foot to support the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a heel pain foot disorder. The plantar fascia ligament at the bottom of the foot (that connects the heel bone to the toes) is getting injured usually as a result of an overuse strain on the foot. The recovery from the disorder might be long and frustrating. The tape is used to alleviate the stress on the bottom of the foot as it limits the range of motion of the foot, while allowing functional movement. Connecting the edges of the foot arches the tape restricts the stretching of the plantar fascia ligament, preventing it from getting injured again. Hence the tape protects the foot from getting injured again.
Plantar fasciitis taping is used to help cases of biomechanical disorders as well as to support the feet during a strong effort. Athletes tend to use taping to support their exercises. Athletic tape is usually changed daily or as advised otherwise by the tape manufacturer. Taping may have minor side effects such as rubbed skin and blisters, rash or even allergic reaction. Taping is a short term treatment that relieves the pain and keeps the foot from getting injured again. The relief from taping can be noticed within minutes but it does not take care of the real causes only stops the cause as long as it is there. The best results from taping can be achieved in combination with other treatments. The taping job can be performed by a professional physician but also by the patient. Always consult your physician before you start a new treatment.
You should avoid foot taping in the following instances:
Here are a few taping techniques that you can use. Each technique has its pros and cons. Some of them are more supportive and some are more restricting and complicated. At the beginning you should start with a classic technique and then change it as you become more experienced. Changes can be made in the brand of the tape, the strain of the tape, its width, the way you put it on the foot etc’. Like everything in life – Practice brings perfection – The more experience you get the more relief will follow. At the beginning it may seem problematic especially if you are taping yourself. But after a few times the process will become easier and you will find the tape and the strain suitable for you.
The podiatrist Dr. Ralph Dye has developed a few taping methods to support the foot and ankle. Low dye taping technique is used for injuries or pain caused by over-pronation. It reduces the foot joints range of motion, supports the plantar fascia and relieves the heel pain from the disorder. This is the most complicated and the most supportive taping technique. There are a few steps for this technique:
OK, we know it is very hard to follow the instructions this way. Now you can watch this nice video to get a better idea of what it is all about.
The longitudinal arch taping is a taping technique that supports the plantar fascia. It is quite simple and efficient. Hold the foot in a neutral position. 3 tape strips are applied on the bottom of the foot from the bottom of the toes to the heel. The first is in the middle and the rest to the sides. The dorsiflexion angle of the foot while applying the tape will determine the tape tightness as you walk. If the tape is too tight and does not allow you to walk you should start the next time with a smaller dorsiflexion angle.
This technique has a few versions as you can see in the following short video. You can feel free to create your own version as you continue to gain experience.
The arch brace taping is a plantar fasciitis taping technique that supports the longitudinal arch. It is the simplest technique of them all. Wrap a tape around the arch at the middle of your foot to perform a brace. The tape can also be applied over a sock. Avoid applying the tape too tight as you can cut blood circulation.
Plantar fasciitis taping can be very successful depending on the severity of pain. Taping is designed to treat the symptoms of the disorder and help to relieve the pain. It will not treat the causes. To get the best results use taping in conjunction with other treatment methods.
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