Plantar Fasciitis Taping
This blog contains and simple step by step plantar fasciitis taping method. It is also a reference source for those seeking to weigh up the value of plantar fasciitis taping, and understand where it sits in the broader spectrum of ways to manage plantar fasciitis pain.
Plantar Fasciitis is a frustrating condition to say the very least. Having plantar fasciitis pain in the sole of the foot is a sure fire way to limit one’s ability to perform all of life’s little tasks that involve walking out of your door (that’s a long list for sure) but it also limits your ability to exercise which in the long term can be quite a serious issue. For a percentage of plantar fasciitis sufferers, the frustration and uncertainty of try to find some relief can become almost as bad as the pain itself.
Among the most common remedies that people turn to for plantar fasciitis is taping. The idea behind plantar fasciitis taping is that you can take pressure and stress out of the plantar fascia by using tape to slightly alter the contour of the arch. By taking stress/stretch out of the arch it is possible to reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis at least temporarily or during a specific activity. This can be enough to trigger healing.
Cut 6-7 pieces of tape that isn’t too stretchy (from a pharmacy) to size.
One long piece to stretch from the ball of your foot at base of the big toe – along the inside of your foot – around the back of the heel – along the outside of your foot to the ball at the base of your little toe(see second image).
The other pieces need to be long enough to spread across the base of your foot and connect to the long piece of tape after it has been applied (see subsequent images).
Stretch the long piece of tape from the ball of your foot at base of the big toe – along the inside of your foot – around the back of the heel – along the outside of your foot to the ball at the base of your little toe
Apply the first short piece of tape to connect the ‘toe ends’ of the large piece so that it covers the sole of the foot ( see pic ).
Then work your way towards the heel applying each subsequent short piece so that it covers half of the previous piece of tape and the sole of the foot until you reach the heel. If you have long feet cut a couple of extra short pieces so that you reach the heel without covering the heel completely (see last pic). .
Use one last short piece to connect across the top of the foot and hold the rest in place.
Plantar Fasciitis Taping vs Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
This article is not just an instructional on plantar fasciitis taping methods. This is for those considering plantar fasciitis taping as an option and who also wish to understand where taping fits into the bigger picture of therapies required to attempt full resolution of their plantar fasciitis pain. When considering the value of taping we must first consider the nature of plantar fasciitis as a condition. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by a combination of lifestyle – genetics – environment.
Lifestyle factors contributing to plantar fasciitis pain and thus potentially a need for plantar fasciitis taping and other treatment methods include the following –
- Daily activity levels
- Amount and type of exercise taken – and therefore muscle strength!
- Footwear preferences.
- Walking and running style.
- Strength levels.
Genetic factors contributing to plantar fasciitis and thus potentially a need for plantar fasciitis taping and other treatment methods include the following –
- Arch height.
- Leg length.
- Foot length & width.
- Hip width.
- Cartilage fibre strength.
Environmental factors contributing to plantar fasciitis and thus a potential need for plantar fasciitis taping and other treatment methods include the following –
- Surfaces in workplace.
- Surfaces in home.
- Surfaces upon which you exercise.
If we take a moment to reflect on the fact that all of the above are significant factors in causing plantar fasciitis to occur and re-occur it may help you begin to understand what a small role plantar fasciitis taping potentially plays in overall treatment ‘picture’. Plantar fasciitis taping can certainly be helpful but there is honestly not one of the above factors that are eliminated by the use of plantar fasciitis taping on the foot.
Plantar fasciitis taping doesn’t alter the muscles mass in your leg and foot. Plantar fasciitis taping doesn’t alter the natural genetic shape of your foot. Plantar fasciitis taping doesn’t offer any protection from the concrete you stand on all day. Plantar fasciitis taping doesn’t save you from poor footwear choices. Plantar fasciitis taping also for the record does not break up the scar tissue most sufferers have built up in their poor feet. But plantar fasciitis taping is still a valuable tool!
Our aim is not to bash plantar fasciitis taping. We are hoping that by putting plantar fasciitis taping in context for you like this we can help you make informed decisions about treatment. We are massive fans of plantar fasciitis taping and use it as a daily clinical tool.. The fact is however that plantar fasciitis taping is one small piece of the plantar fasciitis jigsaw.
Where plantar fasciitis taping fits in is along with other valid methods that can help us get over the pain of plantar fasciitis in the short term.There are 2 kinds of treatments for plantar fasciitis – those that can bring short term relief – those that can bring lasting relief by acting more preventatively.
Short Term Relief Methods
*the following methods can all bring short term- mid term relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms. DO NOT underestimate their long term value though as they often form essential stepping stones as many longer term solutions didn’t work unless these techniques have been employed first.
Acupuncture – to reduce pain signals, reduce muscle spasm and promote blood flow in plantar fascia.
Scraping ( Guasha ) – using a blunt massage tool to promote blood flow in the plantar fascia and break up scar tissue.
Percussion – vibration massage to promote blood flow in the plantar fascia and break up scar tissue. .
Icing – to reduce irritation in the plantar fascia and slow down propagation of pain signals.
Acupressure – thumbs dug into the plantar fascia to release adhesions and promote blood flow.
*this is not an exhaustive list but these would be a good starting point for most plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Long Term Relief / Preventative Methods
*The following methods and principles are designed to work more on the underlying causes of plantar fasciitis and bring more lasting relief.
Rehabilitation Exercise – strengthening of the hips, knees and feet to prevent dropping of the arch during weight bearing.
Changing Shoe Choices – to minimise stress in the plantar fascia in the long term.
Altering Environment – for example placing rubber mats down on the floor of the bakery if you are a baker.
Altering Lifestyle – for example quitting badminton, steps like this are often not necessary but the fact is the dynamic high impact activities like badminton and indoor football create severely unnatural strain in the plantar fascia.
Custom Orthotics – to provide the foot and arch with a natural level of flexible arch support that mimics walking in nature. Often an absolute game changer in those looking for good long term plantar fasciitis and heel pain outcomes.
Sport Coaching – to address ones running style with a running coach is a good example of how one might seek to reduce unnatural stresses in the longer term.
*this is not an exhaustive list but these would be good starting points for most.
So there we are .. plantar fasciitis taping is great and we fully endorse you trying out to see if it can help manage your pain in the short term. Plantar fasciitis taping probably sits in the jigsaw of plantar fasciitis treatments in the same way as flossing sits in the jigsaw of tooth decay treatments. Flossing is great but often we need a whole heap of other tools, help and methods too, especially if we have run into trouble with our teeth.
Feel free to download this page in as a .pdf here: PLANTAR FASCIITIS TAPING