Here we explain a simple turf toe-taping technique. The aim is to protect the joint at the base of the big toe (MTP joint) from bending upwards.
How to tape your foot for Turf toe
The aim of taping for turf toe is to protect the MTP joint by preventing it from bending upwards. By applying support strips of tape under the joint, we prevent unwanted movement.
What is required?
- 2.5cm (1 inch) nonstretch zinc oxide tape.
- 3.8cm (1.5 inches) nonstretch zinc oxide tape.
Step 1: Turf toe taping
Apply a strip of 2.5cm tape around the big toe as an anchor. Anchor strips of tape are used to form a stable attachment point for the supporting strips. Use two strips if the big toe is long.
Using either 2.5cm or 3.8cm tape apply two overlapping strips around the middle of the foot. This provides a second anchor point.
When you apply anchors to the midfoot, spread the toes apart. This simulates load bearing on the foot and prevents the tape from being uncomfortable when your put weight on it.
Step 2: Turf toe taping
Apply a support strip of 2.5cm tape from underneath the middle of the foot, directly up to the big toe. Ensure the toe is in the desired position before fixing the tape.
To apply Turf toe taping effectively your foot needs to be in a relaxed, neutral position. Do not bend it upwards as this is the movement we aim to restrict.
Some therapists prefer to tape from the toe downwards. Either way works as long as the anchor points are secure.
Apply a second support strip from the middle of the foot upwards but slightly to the side and overlapping the first. Then apply a third support strip from the other side.
If done correctly this should give an ‘X’ shape of tape with the cross passing under the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of the big toe.
Secure the support strips with two strips over the top at the big toe and the middle of the foot with 2.5cm and 3.8cm tape respectively – like the original anchor strips. Assess the turf toe taping to ensure the big toe cannot be bent back and the tape is secure.