If you’re dealing with personal tendonitis, taping techniques for the ankle and foot can help with the healing process and the return to normal activities. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of taping, how it works, and both kinesiology and athletic taping techniques.
Benefits of Taping
If you’re considering taping methods, check out these benefits.
It is cost-effective and can be applied to the injured area to address specific symptoms.
It can also be used initially to determine the efficacy of investing in a brace.
It can be used in lieu of an ankle brace to provide short term stability without all the bulk of a brace.
A great option for anyone wanting to support the ankle for higher-level activities like running, jumping, and walking.
Peroneal tendonitis results in ankle pain and inflammation, joint pain, possible weakness, and impaired ankle eversion. Tape can be strategically placed to support the ankle so that higher-level activities can be tolerated with less risk of aggravation. Taping, specifically kinesiology tape, can be a great option for promoting tendon health and healing.
Kinesio tape or athletic tape are best when used in conjunction with other home treatment options like orthotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
Traditional taping techniques for the ankle are done with athletic tape. This standard white tape is low cost and easy to find, even often in a first aid kit. Athletic tape has no stretch in it at all, making it a good choice when short term stability is the ultimate goal. It is not recommended to wear as a long term solution but can be great for a few hours when doing higher-level activities like running, jumping, or pivoting.
The lack of stretch in the tape provides consistent pressure to the ankle that helps minimize swelling, promote circulation, and provide stability. This provides a great balance for staying active while still encouraging the healing process.
Athletic taping techniques are meant for general ankle stability. While this technique is not specific to peroneal tendonitis, it can provide stability for ankle eversion and prevent painful rolling of the ankle inward; which can contribute to pain in the peroneal tendon. It is a popular technique for athletes after sustaining an ankle sprain. Here are the exact steps:
If needed, start by placing extra padding at the achilles tendon and front of the ankle to prevent blisters.
Grab some soft pre-wrap material to wrap around the entire ankle (starting about mid-calf muscle) and upper foot (to mid-arch) to protect the skin from the tape.
Anchor the wrap with athletic tape at the top and bottom. (Expert tip: When laying the tape, make sure you lay it flat without pulling to prevent it from being too tight.)
Tape for ankle stability by placing a strip from the top mid-calf anchor on the inside of the leg. Wrap it under the heel/arch before placing the other end on the top anchor on the outside of the leg. It should look like a stirrup for your lower leg.
Repeat with 1-2 more strips depending on the size of the ankle and need for stability.
Next, cover the entire ankle with one strip of tape at a time from top to bottom (tape will be parallel with the floor this time). Start and end each piece of tape at the front of the shin and overlap them at least 25%. Continue down the entire ankle until you reach the heel.
Then, complete a heel lock technique to support the ankle. Start at the top of the foot and wrap the tape under the arch before crossing the back side of the heel at a diagonal. Wrap the tape back across the top of the foot before repeating the technique in the opposite direction to provide stability to the heel in both directions.
Tips for Using Athletic Tape
The tape should feel snug but not tight and cutting off circulation.
Cover any gaps in the tape and see how it feels with movement.
You can wear this for up to a few hours before you’ll want to cut it off.
Remove carefully using scissors and avoid skin lacerations.
Common causes for blisters with this technique are due to not enough overlap between pieces and gaps in the tape, so adjust as needed.
When dealing with a tendon injury that is from overuse or a change in activity level, kinesiology tape is usually the best choice. With it’s growing popularity, kinesiology tape has become more affordable and easier to self apply.
The stretch of the tape gently lifts your skin and promotes circulation for the healing process. The flexibility of the tape also mimics the tensile properties of your muscles and can help provide great feedback to the affected tendons and muscles. K-tape is great for re-training imbalanced muscle groups while providing minimal to moderate support and relieving ankle joint pain.
There are many tape variations for addressing peroneal tendonitis, but the end goal is the same - support the lateral foot and ankle for relief while restoring proper coordination and proprioception (the ankle ability to recognize what it’s doing). Follow these instructions:
Grab some kinesiology tape and cut two strips. One will go from the bottom inside edge of the foot, across the bottom of the foot and along the outside of the ankle to mid-calf. The other will wrap from one side of the foot to the other behind the achilles tendon (parallel with the floor). Cut them while keeping in mind that you are adding up to 50% stretch.
Cut and round the edges of the tape to allow for better adhesion.
Poke around the ankle near the lateral malleolus and fibula to pinpoint any painful areas you want the tape to go directly over for this technique.
To start adding stability to the ankle, place an anchor at the bottom inside the edge of the foot, about mid arch.
Once secure, place a 25-50% stretch on the tape as you wrap it under the arch, across the 5th metatarsal and at a slight angle so that it rests behind the ankle bone itself.
Then continue up the side of the leg and anchor the other end of the tape mid-calf.
Rub the tape to promote full adhesion to the skin.
Then, grab your second piece of tape and anchor it in line with the foot to the outside edge about mid-foot.
Again, pull the tape to 25-50% before wrapping the tape back behind the heel and bringing it around to the inside of the foot.
Anchor the tape and rub again for adhesion.
Tips for Using Kinesiology Tape
You should feel moderate support in the lateral ankle.
You can wear the tape for 2-3 days.
Remove as needed and make sure to do so slowly to minimize skin injury.
If you notice a rash or itching, remove the tape sooner.
Athletic vs. Kinesio Tape
Kinesiology tape tends to be the best rehab option for restoring ankle function. A peroneal tendonitis injury will benefit from the gentle support while re-building tolerance and coordination with movement. For best outcome, combine taping with appropriate ankle stretches and exercises
If you’re not sure which option is best for you or want help demonstrating how to effectively use tape, talk with a personal trainer or physical therapist for best results.
Peroneal Tendonitis Recovery Goal
While taping can play a role in the recovery process, the goal is to be able to use the ankle without any assistance as healing progresses. Occasionally, more severe issues or higher-level sports may require consistent use of tape when participating in events.
If you notice your symptoms aren’t improving or are even getting worse with treatment or activity, make sure you talk to a physical therapist or doctor about your rehab options.
JayDee Vykoukal is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, owner of the healthy habit platform Health Means Wealth, and freelance medical writer. She loves traveling and spending time with her family in nature. Her passion is helping others continue to participate in the activities they love through education and proper exercise.
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