Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation and subsequent degeneration of the fascia. It can be treated by taping the plantar fascia. It is an effective way to help relieve the pain and inflammation. The following article provides information about the same.
Plantar fasciitis is a severe, painful, and advancing illness that occurs when the long, flat ligament called plantar fascia along the bottom of the foot, develops tears and gradually degenerates. This ligament extends to the five toes and runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel. In some cases, it can lead to permanent ruptures in the ligament.
- Biomechanical factors like, abnormal inward twisting of the foot (pronation), high arches, flat feet, or tight tendons along the back of the heel (Achilles tendons) are some common causes of this condition.
- Excessive pronation is responsible for extended tension in this ligament, as the arch lowers during standing or walking.
- Repetitive pressure on the feet due to jobs or activities that demand prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces can cause this condition. Running, jogging, and exercising can also lead to wear and tear of the ligament.
- Aggravating factors, like, being overweight, having poorly cushioned shoes, flimsy sandals, etc. can also lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Aging causes tissue in the heels to weaken over time and lead to wear and tear of the ligament.
- A single traumatic foot injury can also cause the onset of this condition.
Taping for Plantar Fasciitis
Taping is one of the best ways to stabilize and treat the inflammation. It provides support and reduces stress on the ligament, thereby relieving pain and preventing any other ailments from occurring. When the foot is taped properly, the fascia’s abnormal movement or excessive stretching gets restricted, which prevents tears from developing in the tissue.
Athletic tape is the most commonly used tape which is easily available at different sporting goods and drug stores. Here are simple steps that can be employed for taping the ligament.
- Start by taping the ball of the foot (metatarsal), and with another piece of tape wrap the heel area; attach both the tapes together.
- Put a strip of tape around the metatarsal region and cross the mid-foot diagonally before wrapping it around the heel crossing the mid-foot again. This forms a X shape across the mid foot which gives support to the plantar fascia. Wrap it thrice to ensure it holds up and creates a strong support.
- Now put the tape horizontally across the foot to wrap up the previous strips and ensure that the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot is entirely covered from the metatarsal region to the heel. This will provide the necessary support and rest to the ligament.
While using this taping, it’s important to keep the feet dry and clean. While washing the feet, avoid using a moisturizing soap as this will cause the tape to stick better onto the surface. Make sure that the tape is not left on the foot all day long. Remove the tape for sometime to allow the skin to breathe. To maximize the benefits of this taping, one can apply it in the morning to provide support for the entire day, or apply it prior to exercise to keep it from stretching excessively.
The success varies as per the severity of the condition. This technique is highly effective when used in conjunction with other treatment methods. Exercises or stretches like bench stretch, toe walking, Achilles stretch, etc. also help regain feet-muscle strength and mobility. It not only limits the range of movement of the ligament, but also prevents overstretching and injury of the fibers of the plantar fascia.