Foot Taping

Written by Brett Harrop

Updated:

The following foot taping techniques are designed to support the arch of the foot, improve foot posture and reduce stress on the foot and lower limb during activity. They can be used for both the treatment and prevention of foot and other lower limb injuries, especially those where poor foot biomechanics (e.g. flat feet) are contributing to the condition.

You should discuss the suitability of these taping techniques with your physiotherapist prior to using them. Generally, they should only be applied provided they are comfortable and do not cause an increase in pain, discolouration, pins and needles, numbness, swelling or excessive redness of the foot and toes.


What sort of tape should be used to tape my foot?

There are many different tapes and bandages available for use by physiotherapists and patients. However, when the purpose is to support the foot and restrict undesired motion, only adhesive, non-stretch (rigid) sports tape is appropriate. (For foot strapping 38mm is usually the most appropriate size). This should always be used in combination with hypoallergenic tape as an underlay, such as Fixomull.




Benefits of Foot Taping

When used correctly, foot taping techniques can:


Indications for Foot Taping

It is generally beneficial to tape the foot in the following instances:



When should I avoid Foot Taping?

Foot taping should be avoided in the following instances:

Weaning off foot tape in general activity is usually recommended as strength, range of movement and function improves and symptoms reduce. In these instances though, taping during high-risk activity (such as some sports) is usually still recommended. If foot taping successfully reduces symptoms then a review with a Podiatrist for the prescription of orthotics and general footwear advice is usually indicated.


Foot Taping Techniques

The following taping techniques may be used to provide support to the arch of the foot and improve foot posture. Generally it is recommended that the foot is shaved 12 hours prior to taping (to prevent painful removal of hairs and skin irritation). The skin should be cleaned and dried, removing any grease or sweat. Low irritant Fixomull tape should be applied as an under-wrap to reduce the likelihood of skin irritation with rigid sports tape over the top of this. Some or all of these taping techniques may be applied to tape the foot and provide the support required for the individual.


Forefoot Anchor

Place a complete loop of tape around the foot, just before the toes (figure 1). This should be applied gently to prevent circulatory problems and is used as a fixation point for the other foot taping techniques.

Foot Strapping - Forefoot Anchor
Figure 1 – Forefoot Anchor


Figure-of-6’s

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Diagonal Lines

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Straight Lines

Keeping the foot and ankle relaxed, start the tape at the back and bottom of the heel. Begin this taping technique by following the black arrows (figure 4) and conclude this taping technique at the level of the forefoot anchor by firmly following the white arrows (figure 4). Fan the tape out as demonstrated, with each line of tape overlapping the adjacent layer by approximately 50%. Do 3 – 5 straight lines depending on the size of the foot and the amount of support required.

Foot Strapping - Straight Lines
Figure 4 – Straight Lines

Heel Anchor

Place a strip of tape around the border of the foot. Begin this taping technique at the level of the forefoot anchor at the inner aspect of the foot by following the black arrows and conclude this taping technique by following the white arrows (figure 5). This should be applied gently to prevent circulatory problems and is used as a fixation point for the other foot taping techniques.

Foot Strapping - Heel Anchor
Figure 5 – Heel Anchor

Basic Foot Taping Recipe

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Complete Foot Taping Recipe

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Removing the tape

Care should be taken when removing the tape to avoid injury aggravation or skin damage. Blunt nosed tape scissors should be used. The tape should be removed slowly, pulling the tape back on itself with pressure placed on the skin as close as possible to the line of attachment of the tape.

Generally tape should be removed with 48 hours of tape application or sooner if there is any increase in pain or symptoms (including skin irritation or itchiness).


Foot Taping Summary

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Physiotherapy Products to Assist with Postural ExercisesPhysiotherapy Products for Foot Strapping

To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with Foot Taping click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.


More Physiotherapy Exercises Foot and Ankle Exercises


Other Taping Techniques  Other Taping Techniques


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