When dealing with Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction, taping techniques applied to the foot, ankle, and heel can aid in pain relief and injury prevention. PTTD is a common injury in runners and athletes, particularly with high-impact sports. It can be caused by overuse, training on hard surfaces, worn-out shoes, or simply because you have flat feet. Tape can help the foot properly absorb impact and promote optimal biomechanics.
This article will discuss how to use kinesiology tape for PTTD along with alternative taping and bracing options.
There are a variety of techniques recommended for PTTD. You may have to experiment with the different options to see which one(s) provides you the most pain relief and support. Additionally, you can consult a physical therapist or podiatrist for specific recommendations for kinesiology taping. Below are instructions for the three primary techniques that can be used on their own or combined.
Placing tape directly across the arch can help provide proprioception (being aware of how your foot is moving) and gentle support to prevent collapsing into a flatfoot deformity. This simple technique can help reduce strain on the posterior tibialis as well and promote better biomechanics with weight-bearing activities.
Placing tape along the inside of the ankle can provide direct relief to the posterior tibialis muscle. It can also provide proprioception and biomechanical feedback with activities like walking and running to gradually reduce strain on the injured tissues. It can seamlessly be added to the arch technique we just reviewed above.
Taping the heel can provide gentle support and prevent excessive ankle range of motion with daily activities that can aggravate your PTTD injury. It’s a great addition to the other taping techniques reviewed above if needed.
Kinesiology tape is primarily used for better foot and ankle feedback and assisting in biomechanically correct movements. The elastic properties in the tape are what allow you to be keenly aware of how you’re moving as it tugs at your skin. Additionally, the tape gently lifts the skin to promote blood flow and pain relief. Depending on how it is applied, it can help relax a muscle or give it a gentle push to work better.
Kinesiology tape is a great tool to utilize with other treatment options, such as stretching, strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS), and physical therapy, to maximize your outcomes after an injury.
Other indications for Kinesio tape include plantar fasciitis, peroneal tendonitis, bunions, general foot or ankle pain, Achilles tendonitis, and more.
Other options for PTTD include athletic tape or braces that wrap around the ankle and/or foot and provide support through compression.
Athletic tape is a great option for short-term foot and ankle stability, particularly preventing ligament damage from rolling of the ankle (inversion ankle sprains). It is made out of cotton fibers with no stretch and is traditionally used during high-impact sports like football and basketball for support. Athletic tape is less comfortable and can only be worn for a few hours. An athletic trainer or physical therapist can show you how to use this type of tape if you need it.
Bracing can be a long-term solution for foot and ankle instability. When your foot and ankle injury has led to permanent instability or damage, or you want to prevent reinjury, you may need a brace for the lower leg.
There are a variety of different braces that can help with PTTD, but you’ll need to make a selection based on your specific deficits. This might include a neoprene ankle brace or a stiffer brace to prevent excessive foot and ankle motion. Talk to your orthopedic doctor or therapist if you’re not sure which brace is right for you.
While kinesiology tape on its own probably won’t heal your PTTD, using it in conjunction with other treatment options can help expedite your results and potentially allow you to get back to feeling your best sooner. Kinesiology tape is a low-cost tool in your recovery toolbox that can make a big difference in your mechanics and help you reach your goal of becoming pain-free. It can also help you determine if support for the arch of the foot with a generic orthotic, a custom orthotic, or a brace is worth investing in. It’s definitely worth a try!
References:Shop Foot Pain