Foot taping

Updated on 27 April 2023

Foot taping

Foot taping, also known as therapeutic taping, is the application of an adhesive strip to a part of the body to treat it. It is a method used by physiotherapists, kinesiologists and chiropodists. It allows for gently treating injuries or conditions. For example, conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis or lower extremity imbalances can be treated with foot taping. Several types of foot tapes can be used. Athletic foot tapes help to guide the movement of the foot. Neuroproprioceptive foot tapes (Kinesio Tape) limit the inflammatory reactions of the tissues to be treated. All-purpose foot tapes help relieve tension in certain areas.

What are the different types of foot tape?

Therapeutic taping improves foot mechanics, including regaining a good posture and stabilizing a limb. Foot tape’s function is to restore the range of motion to the foot and ankle and support the regeneration of injured tissue. However, while there are different types of foot tape, depending on the required treatment, they have one thing in common: they contribute to reducing pain. Foot tapes come in various lengths, textures, and varying degrees of flexibility or rigidity, depending on the patient’s pain. 

Foot taping is a way to support the joints and muscles of the foot to stabilize it. Therapeutic taping can be used as a preventive measure to avoid injury or as part of rehabilitation.  Neuroproprioceptive taping imitates the elastic properties of the skin. It reduces soft tissue swelling and prolongs the benefits of the treatment previously provided by a health professional. This foot tape relieves tension in muscles and joints. The resulting feeling of well-being is related to the nerve stimulation that the tape induces.

As part of treatment, therapeutic taping can be applied on the foot, under the foot, and around the ankle. How it works will vary based on where it is placed on the foot and what other treatments are involved.  

What can be treated with foot taping?

Many foot problems can be treated with therapeutic taping. Foot tape can reduce inflammation, stabilize the foot and ankle, or optimize recovery. To determine the type of foot taping you need, a chiropodist begins by performing a podiatric assessment. 

If you suffer from hallux valgus, or bunion of the foot, foot tape is used to relieve pressure on your joints to improve blood circulation. This condition often makes it difficult to wear shoes and walk, but foot-taping therapy helps to restore comfort.

For muscle strain or an ankle sprain, foot tape stabilizes the joints to promote healing. However, it is important to be aware of its analgesic effect; if you don’t feel pain during treatment, it doesn’t mean the injury or condition has immediately disappeared. It is advisable to avoid exertion: therapeutic taping is more effective if you rest.

For people who suffer from Achilles tendon irritation, therapeutic taping helps reduce inflammation and overuse. This treatment contributes to preventing tendon stiffness from setting in and getting worse. This information also rings true for plantar fasciitis taping.  Placed on the foot’s arch, plantar fasciitis taping prevents the fascia from over-stretching, allowing it to heal.

It is usually recommended that foot taping be worn for at most 5 days. A follow-up visit to a chiropodist is essential to evaluate the evolution of the injury or condition. If a replacement is necessary, your healthcare professional will do it. The placement will likely be modified to match your stage of recovery. 

What are the benefits of therapeutic taping?

Like custom-made foot orthotics, foot taping helps relieve muscle tension and pain. But these are not the only benefits. Foot taping speeds up the healing process following an injury by limiting the strain on the damaged area. It allows muscles to rest and solicits those around them. This results in muscle strengthening as well as improved posture and balance. In addition, by working on the muscles, foot tape helps relieve joint pressure and regain mobility. 

Are there any contraindications to foot taping?

There are some contraindications to foot taping. Although this method seems simple and accessible, it requires technical knowledge. Rely on your healthcare professional to apply the tape. You may be allergic to the foot tape since it is an adhesive. If the treated area is irritated, red or swollen, remove the tape immediately and wash the area to get rid of the residue. Notify your chiropodist to find another solution. People who are prone to edema or who are at risk for thrombosis should tell their healthcare provider. Foot taping affects blood circulation, which can be an aggravating factor in these cases. Finally, if there are lesions on your skin, it is best to wait until they have closed before applying the therapeutic taping. 

What is the procedure for applying foot tape?

Your chiropodist will first determine where to place the adhesive tape. They will ask you to take a particular position. The chiropodist may have to shave or clean the area to be treated so that the tape will fit properly. They will then cut one or more strips to perform the treatment. The foot tape will be pressed or stretched over the areas to be treated. Other strips may be added to help hold the tape in place or support it. Your chiropodist will then observe how you feel about the application and your mobility with the foot taping. If necessary, they will adjust the positioning of the taping.

Are there alternatives to foot taping?

Therapeutic taping is a method that is often coupled with another treatment. Depending on your condition and the pathology that the taping will treat, your chiropodist can prescribe custom-made orthotics. These come in various shapes and have different purposes adapted to each individual. In addition, manual therapy and exercises to soften the foot’s tissues can provide relief before foot taping and reinforce its action. For intense pain, medication may also be prescribed.

Conclusion – Foot taping in FootNetwork member clinics

The foot taping is adaptable to all ages, whether you are active or not.  Therapeutic taping can be used as a preventive measure and part of treatment. There are many benefits to foot tape. If you suffer from foot pain and are interested in this method, please contact your FootNetwork chiropodist to learn more. 

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