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 being bent upwards. This is done by applying support strips of tape underneath the joint.
What is required?
- 2.5cm (1 inch) nonstretch zinc oxide tape.
- 3.8cm (1.5 inches) nonstretch zinc oxide tape.
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 to provide a second anchor point.
When applying the anchors to the middle of the foot, spread the toes apart to simulate load bearing on the foot. This will help prevent the tape from being uncomfortable when the athlete stands up.
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.
This should be in a relaxed, neutral position and not bent upwards as this is the movement we are attempting to restrict. Some therapists prefer to tape from the toe downwards but 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.