If you've been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, you may have been advised to tape your foot for extra support. Athletic tape can help you avoid straining or tearing your plantar fascia. It also helps to keep your foot partially extended, which can reduce the recurrence of pain in the mornings, a common problem with this condition. Here is a look at some basic tips to help you tape your foot on your own.
Prepare Your Foot
The best way to ensure that the tape stays put is to wash your foot with soap and warm water and dry it completely before you apply tape. Then, to increase the adhesive powers of the tape, spray your foot with an athletic adhesive spray. It will help the tape to stay in place longer, which is particularly important given the risk of feet sweating. You also need to start with the foot fully relaxed. That will reduce the chance of wrapping the tape too tightly.
Create An "X" Support
If you are experiencing the early stages of plantar fasciitis, you can potentially keep the pain at bay with a traditional "X" support in athletic tape. Put a piece of medium-width tape just below the littlest toe on the affected foot. The strip should follow around the entire outside edge of your foot, crossing underneath your heel and then back across the top of the foot to the little toe, where it should meet the end of the other piece.
Do the same thing in the other direction with another strip of tape. Start at the end of your big toe, then trace the length of your arch, around your heel and across the other side, over the top of the foot to the big toe. This forms an "X" in the tape strips on both the top and bottom of the affected foot. For a little bit of extra support, you can even add some strips of tape straight across the width of your foot. Three or four will usually be enough to keep the tape from coming loose.
The persistent, sharp pain that plantar fasciitis can cause is often debilitating, particularly for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Whether you've been injured in a sports activity or just from routine daily movement, you should consider talking to a primary care physician for medical support and evaluation to help you reduce your symptoms.