Taping is an excellent way of relieving the pain of plantar fasciitis. Below we demonstrate two different methods. It may take a little trial and error to find which suits you best.
Taping for plantar fasciitis aims to reduce the strain on the plantar fascia which in turn reduces or eliminates painful symptoms. In effect, the tape unloads some of the strain on the plantar fascia allowing the tissues to heal. It may need to be applied regularly until symptoms resolve but many people notice an immediate improvement.
Physiotherapy Consultant Neil Reynolds demonstrates a simple plantar fasciitis taping technique.
Usually, this is for a tear or strain of the underneath part of the foot. The plantar fascia runs from the bottom of the heel to the front of the foot. Using the principles of taping we are going to try and offload that area and try and give it a little bit more support.
One problem you get with taping feet is they can end up quite sweaty at times so a spray adhesive can be used to attach the tape to. The key to plantar fasciitis taping is getting the patient to relax their foot. If you have the foot too tight then as soon as you stand up it will be uncomfortable because you are over tightening the plantar fascia.
To start an anchor is put around the top of the foot where the plantar fascia ends. There is no tension on this strip whatsoever. It is literally just laid on the skin. The same thing is done down the bottom of the foot over the heel. Be careful where the Achilles is as the tape can rub.
So we have an anchor at the bottom and an anchor at the top. This is where you need to relax the foot as the strips are applied along the length of the plantar fascia. It may be easier to measure up and rip the tape first rather than apply it to the foot still on the roll and rip it in place. The tape is applied from the middle of the foot at the heel and fan outwards to the outside of the foot. A second strip is applied on the other side and a third in the center of the foot. The strips of tape should run from one anchor strip to the other.
Another strip is applied along the inside of the foot which gives the taping a little bit more support where it is needed. The foot is still relaxed and the tape just laid on the skin without any tension. Then we re-do the anchors at the top and bottom of the foot again with no pressure or tension in the tape. A final strip can be applied to give the medial arch of the foot even more support. It runs along the medial arch, around the heel and back across to the starting point.
The second of our two simple taping techniques for plantar fasciitis. Trial and error will determine which one is easiest and most effective for you.
Step 1 - Starting on the outside of the foot just below the smallest toe, apply a strip of 2.5cm or 1-inch nonstretch zinc oxide tape down the outer foot, under the heel and then back across the sole. You should finish up at the same point you started from. Try not to get any wrinkles in the tape as this could cause blisters.
Step 2 - Next do the same starting on the inside of the foot under the big toe and finishing int he same place. You should have a crossed pattern as shown on the left. Then repeat these first two steps overlapping with tape until you have applied two pieces of tape each side. Finally, cover what you have just done with a number of short strips of tape that go across the underneath of the foot. Again be careful not to wrinkle the tape or do it too tight.
Finally - You might like to finish it off with a small piece of tape across the top of the foot connecting each side to secure it.