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Why and How to Tape for Plantar Fasciitis

by Patty Weasler, RN August 23, 2019 0 Comments

Plantar fasciitis taping is a good way to get relief from foot pain and other symptoms with only a roll of athletic tape or kinesiology tape. It works by providing additional support to the plantar fascia, taking pressure off the arch of the foot. Learn more about the benefits of taping, as well as different applications below.

What is Plantar Fasciitis Taping?

The plantar fascia is a tissue on the underside of the foot, used when walking, running, or standing. Normally this tissue is springy and elastic, making it easy to move around without strain, but if it becomes injured or inflamed, the plantar fascia can become stiff, causing pain when used.

Kinesiology tape or athletic tape, when applied in certain ways, can help stabilize a damaged arch, giving it the support it needs to recover safely. By tightly wrapping the tape around the area, it restores the elasticity of the arch, helping to manage pain while staying active.

The Benefits of Taping

Taping provides a wide range of benefits for those recovering from plantar fasciitis, as well as athletes or anyone who likes to stay active.

  • Stabilizes healing ligaments
  • Provides pain relief for plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, flat feet, and other forms of arch and heel pain
  • Improves circulation
  • Prevents injury
  • Boosts athletic performance

Types of Taping Techniques

There are two main types of taping that physical therapist recommend for plantar fasciitis; athletic tape and kinesiology tape. Learn the differences below.

Athletic Tape for Plantar Fasciitis

Athletic tape is a thick, non-elastic tape that is used to help support joints and provide compression. For plantar fasciitis, it is a good choice to provide a rigid support that will last through vigorous activity.

How to Apply:

  1. Make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials to get started: a 1” roll of athletic tape, a 3” roll of athletic tape, and a pair of scissors.
  2. Begin by taping an anchor strap around the edge of the foot with the 1” tape. Start just before the base of the big toe, wrapping around the heel, and continuing to the base of the pinky.
  3. Place the cross straps on the sole with the 3” tape, beginning just below the ball of the foot. Place additional cross straps by overlapping 50% and working your way down the length of the arch.
  4. The last piece of 1” tape goes just above the original anchor strap, covering the ends of the cross straps. For additional compression, you can also wrap an additional piece of tape over the top of the foot, just behind the toes. 

Kinesiology Tape for Plantar Fasciitis

Kinesiology tape can be applied for many of the same uses as athletic tape, however it adds some unique benefits. It is made of an elastic material that makes it easy to stretch over specific muscle groups. Plus, a porous surface reduces sweat buildup, making it better for high-intensity activities or long-term wear.

How to Apply:

  1. Start with your foot clean and dry to ensure the adhesive tape can stick for hours. The only equipment needed is the tape itself. 2” thick strips work well.
  2. Attach the end of one strip to the ball of the foot with 0% stretch. Apply 80% stretch across the length of the foot and attach to the heel. Attach the remainder up along the back of the heel with 0% stretch.
  3. Attach a second piece of tape above the ankle bone. Apply 80% stretch and wrap around the arch of your foot and back up to the other side of the ankle.
  4. Apply friction across the surface of the tape to enhance the stick. You can add an additional strip of tape across the ankles and arch, overlapping the strip in step 3 by 50%. Leave the tape adhered for 36 to 48 hours.

Athletic Tape or Kinesiology Tape for Plantar Fasciitis?

Athletic tape is a tried and true method of dealing with plantar fasciitis and other conditions. It is easy to find and inexpensive, making a more accessible option for most users. While it doesn’t offer the elasticity and breathability of kinesiology tape, it brings a high level of arch support, with a thick and durable material made to last for days. Choose athletic tape if you want to maximize support, and don’t mind spending a bit of extra time applying.

On the other hand, kinesiology taping is a good choice for those who want an option that is simpler to apply and more comfortable. It’s elastic and porous surface mimics the texture of skin and can hold up to heavy sweating. It doesn’t offer as much support as traditional athletic tape, however the stabilization it does offer is enough for most mild to moderate plantar fasciitis pain over the short-term.

Will Taping Cure Plantar Fasciitis?

Taping is a good way to aid the healing process and manage the pain and stiffness of plantar fasciitis, letting you get back on your feet sooner. Use it as part of a comprehensive plantar fasciitis treatment plan that includes other treatment options like orthotics, insoles, and night splints. Consult your doctor for more information about treating the condition over the long term.

Sources:

http://www.athletictapeinfo.com/kinesiology-tape-information/kinesiology-tape-or-athletic-tape/

SHOP PLANTAR FASCIITIS PRODUCTS
Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.



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