How To Wrap Your Foot For Plantar Fasciitis | Step-By-Step Guide

Plantar fasciitis is so common that 1 in 10 people will experience it in their lifetime. (1) Fortunately, compression can help ward off symptoms. Having said that, you’re likely here because you’re wondering about how to wrap your foot for plantar fasciitis.

Well, there are numerous ways to wrap your foot for this injury – and those ways involve different materials that I’ll show you how to use. These include:

Plantar fasciitis relief using athletic tape

Why should you wrap your foot with athletic tape?

If you have flat feet, there is an excessive rolling of your foot inwards (pronation). This leads to irritation of the plantar fascia resulting in heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis taping helps support your plantar fascia and prevents this excessive pronation. (2)

Low dye taping, in particular, is a well-established technique to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. It’s also easy to do.

Here’s how:

Items needed:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • 1 roll of athletic tape
  • Scissors

Position: Cross-legged (affected foot on top of the opposite knee). Lift your foot slightly so it forms a right angle with your shin.

Steps:

  1. Clean your foot with rubbing alcohol to make the tape stick better.
  2. Apply a layer of tape from the outside of your foot, back to your heel, then around the inside of your foot. Use the bump on your little toe and big toe as landmarks. Avoid applying tension and tape wrinkling.
  3. Apply tape to the bottom of your heel. Use the tape you laid down on step 1 as a landmark. Start from the outside tape, go under your heel, then around the inside.
  4. Apply another strip of tape in the same fashion as step 3 but apply it a little higher, overlapping half of the previous tape.
  5. Repeat step 4 until you cover your sole, stopping just below the ball of your foot.
  6. Repeat step 2 to cover the previous tapes and help make sure they don’t come loose.

Plantar fasciitis taping using a bandage

Why should you wrap your foot with a bandage?

Our feet tend to point downwards when we sleep. This can shorten the already irritated plantar fascia.

Using an elastic bandage (e.g. an Ace bandage) can help keep your ankle in a neutral position overnight. This will benefit you in reducing the instances of early morning foot pain.

Additionally, an ace bandage is cheaper compared to night splints – a device that stretches the plantar fascia overnight. (3)

Here’s how:

Items needed:

  • 1 roll of 4-inch bandage
  • Pin or clip fastener

Position: Cross-legged (affected foot on top of the opposite knee). Lift your foot slightly so it forms a right angle with your shin.

Steps:

  1. Wrap the bandage from the outside of your foot, moving up towards the inside, then back out to encircle the ball of your foot. Do this twice. These are your anchor wraps.
  2. From the outside, wrap diagonally up your foot, around the ankle, then back diagonally to the inside of your foot. This is should form a figure-of-eight pattern.
  3. Repeat step 2 but have each succeeding wrap higher than the last (at least half the previous wrap). Stop when you run out of bandage or after covering your entire foot.
  4. Use a pin, clip fastener, velcro, or adhesive to secure the end of the bandage.

Remember to avoid wrinkles on your wraps to prevent skin irritation. Also, the wraps should feel snug – not too tight that it cuts off your blood supply but not too loose that it doesn’t provide compression.

Plantar fasciitis relief with kinesiology taping

Why should you tape your foot with Kinesiology tape?

A kinesiology tape is a thin, flexible piece of adhesive tape that is useful for plantar fasciitis. It helps (4):

  • Add another layer of support to your arch
  • Lifts your skin for better inflammation control
  • Pain relief
  • Provide neuromuscular feedback for balance
  • Relieve abnormal muscle tension

There are different techniques that you can use. But here’s one that’s simple and effective.

Here’s how:

Position: Cross-legged (affected foot on top of the opposite knee). Lift your foot slightly so it forms a right angle with your shin.

Items Needed:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • One full strip of Kinesiology tape
  • Two half-strips of Kinesio tape

Steps:

  1. Clean your foot with rubbing alcohol to make the tape stick longer.
  2. With your full strip of tape, apply 2 inches of the tape on the ball of your foot. Don’t apply any tension as this only serves as your anchor.
  3. While holding the anchor, pull the rest of the tape with moderate tension and apply it towards your heel.
  4. With at least a third of the full strip remaining, pull the tape along your Achilles tendon without tension and gently rub the whole length of the tape.
  5. Using 1 of the half-strips, create another 2-inch anchor on the outside of your foot, beside the painful plantar fascia.
  6. While holding the anchor, pull the tape with moderate tension across your foot while passing through the point of pain. Apply the rest of the tape on the inside of your foot without any tension. Again, rub the whole length of the tape.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 with your other half-strip but apply it slightly higher (at least half of the previous tape).  

FAQs:

Should I rest with plantar fasciitis?

Initially yes, so that symptoms calm down. After a few days, consider taping and exercise as they’re better options. Consult with a physical therapist if you’re unsure.

How do I know if I have plantar fasciitis or heel spurs?

Both conditions have painful first steps in the morning but plantar fasciitis likely gets better as your day goes on.

Conclusion

With different foot taping techniques, you now have more treatment options to speed up the healing process.

Remember that wrapping or taping your foot treats the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, and not the condition itself.

Consult your doctor or physical therapist for appropriate plantar fasciitis treatment.

Resources

  1. Trojan, Thomas et al. “Plantar Fasciitis”. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Jun 15;99(12):744-750. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0615/p744.html
  2. Chae, You Hyeon et al. “Clinical and Biomechanical Effects of Low-Dye Taping and Figure-8 Modification of Low-Dye Taping in Patients With Heel Pad Atrophy.” Annals of rehabilitation medicine vol. 42,2 (2018): 222-228. doi: 10.5535/arm.2018.42.2.222
  3. Beyzadeoğlu, Tahsin et al. “Plantar fasiitis için konservatif tedaviye eklenen dorsifleksiyon gece atelinin etkinliği” [The effectiveness of dorsiflexion night splint added to conservative treatment for plantar fasciitis]. Acta orthopaedica et traumatologica turcica vol. 41,3 (2007): 220-4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17876122/
  4. Tezel, Nihal et al. “Short-Term Efficacy of Kinesiotaping versus Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Study.” Saudi journal of medicine & medical sciences vol. 8,3 (2020): 181-187.  doi: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_624_19

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