Athletic taping is used for athletes who participate in high-impact activities that require a rigid taping technique for increased support. When most people think of taping, they immediately think of Kinesio taping. However, Kinesio tape has an elastic quality, which makes the tape stretchy and therefore not as supportive as athletic tape.
At Biosport Physical Therapy, our physical therapist uses a variety of athletic tape methods for the different needs of each athlete. If you are in need of effective support during your sport, contact Biosport Physical Therapy in Modesto today to find out how athletic taping can benefit you!
What does athletic taping do?
One of the most common types of taping we do is ankle taping. Acute ankle injuries (such as sprains or strains that occur from immediate impact) are extremely common. When an athlete develops an acute ankle injury but still wants to participate in their sport before the injury is completely healed – that’s where athletic taping comes in.
The second most common reason athletes will need athletic taping is due to chronic injuries. This may include overuse injuries that occur over time or persistent injuries that keep coming back. Athletic taping helps with the healing of overuse injuries so they do not worsen, and they also help prevent injuries from returning.
In order to correctly tape an ankle, our (twn) physical therapist will follow these steps:
- The athlete’s foot must be in dorsiflexion. This means that the foot is pulled up toward the shin.
- Heel and lace pads are used. They go directly above the heel, where the shoelace would hit the foot. These prevent blisters from forming.
- The ankle is pre-wrapped. This begins at the top of the ankle where the socks end, just below the calf. Everything from this point down is completely covered.
- The first strip of athletic tape is placed halfway on the skin and halfway on the pre-wrap. A few more strips are placed below this, overlapping halfway. This creates a base.
- The next strips are placed in what is called “horseshoes.” Most ankle injuries are inversion injuries, so strips are placed on the medial side going toward the lateral side. This locks it in place and creates support. 2 or 3 horseshoes are always done.
- More strips are placed down the front of the ankle, toward the two bumps on either side. This provides more support and makes sure all pre-wrap is covered.
- “Heel lock” strips are placed on the ankle. These start on the lateral side of the ankle, come across the top, and then go down under the foot, right in front of the heel. After, the tape comes up diagonally around the Achilles and goes all the way around the foot. The same thing is done in the opposite direction. This is done 4 times. It is the most difficult step but it provides the most support.
- The strips that were used in the beginning are tightly placed halfway at the top of the ankle. This helps hold everything in place.
Get your athletic taping done today!
At Biosport Physical Therapy, we are highly experienced in taping several different body parts that may be in need of support for a specific sport. If you think you could benefit from athletic taping, contact us in Modesto today! We’ll help you perform at your best abilities in your sport of choice.