Bunion taping

A bunion is a painful swelling in the forefoot, specifically at the base of the big toe. Here we demonstrate a simple sports taping technique to relieve bunion pain.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Chaminda Goonetilleke, 20th Jan. 2022

The following is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before attempting any bunion treatment or rehabilitation.

Aim of bunion taping

The aim is to support the inside of the MTP joint at the base of the big toe. The MTP joint stands for the metatarsophalangeal joint. It simply means the joint between the metatarsal bone and the phalanges (toe) bones.

Separating the big toe and the next one with a 1 cm thick piece of foam can relieve painful symptoms. This is fixed in place using zinc oxide plaster tape. As a result, it has the effect of straightening the great toe and relieving pressure on the painful area.

What tape is required?

  • 2.5cm (1 inch) non stretch zinc oxide sports tape.
  • 3.8cm (1.5 inch) non stretch non stretch zinc oxide sports tape.

Bunion taping step 1

  • Using the 1.5-inch nonstretch tape, apply 2 anchors to the middle of the foot.
  • Spread the toes when securing the anchor. This simulates weight-bearing so the foot is not constricted when the athlete stands up.
  • Using the 1-inch tape, apply two anchors, one overlapping the other to the big toe.
  • Ensure these are not too tight!

Step 2

  • Pull the big toe outwards (towards us in the image).
  • Apply a strip of 1-inch tape from the toe, down the inside of the foot and secure.
  • Repeat this twice more, overlapping each strip.

Step 3

  • Finish off by applying two overlapping one-inch strips over the big toe to secure the ends of the supporting strips.
  • If there is not enough support from the supporting strips at this point then they can be detached and re-attached a little tighter.
  • Finally, secure the taping by applying two overlapping 1.5-inch strips over the middle of the foot.

Further information & research on Bunion taping

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