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Taping Questions:

Posted by Tammy M on 11/02/01 at 20:57 (064033)

I need some of everyone's expert advise. I started taping my feet about 2 weeks ago, and I cannot believe the relief I am experiencing! Even those first few painful steps out of bed are not nearly so bad. I keep my feet taped all day (I carefully followed Scott's instructions in the heel pain book--Thank you, Scott!!) My problem is I am now TERRIFIED to ever walk again un taped! How long should I continue taping, and do I risk re-injury if I try walking without being taped? The first 2 days I stepped out of bed and into my Birkenstock without having my feet taped, and upon taking my first step I felt a freaky 'pop' in my fascia--maybe this is all in my head but I could see in my mind all of those little tears I healed over night breaking open again. What has your experience been? I also find the skin on my feet becoming irritated by the tape.

Re: Taping Questions:

Julie on 11/03/01 at 01:17 (064035)

Tammy, I was concerned about this too when I first started taping and, like you, was so grateful for the relief and support it gave. Perhaps my experience will be helpful to you. I taped every day for as long as I felt I needed to - from October 2001 to June 2001. During the final three months, I probably didn't need to use tape as often as I did, but I think I was a bit superstitious about trying to do without it. Then, one day, I just realized that I probably didn't need it any more, and stopped. And haven't used it since. It was a natural progression. (Unfortunately, I had just stocked up on two rolls of expensive Leuko tape - but what's money?)

I credit my recovery from PF very largely to taping, which supported the fascia and allowed it to heal while providing pain relief. Don't be frightened: tape as long as you need to. You'll know when you no longer need to.

You say you 'stepped out of bed and into your Birkenstock without tape. Does that mean you usually keep the tape on at night? You really should remove it every night to allow the skin to breathe, and apply fresh tape in the morning.

If you are keeping it on at night, that might be a reason for your feet are becoming irritated. If that's not the reason, I suggest you try a different kind of tape. I used Leuko tape, made in Germany be Beiersdorf - not easy to find in the States (I'm in England) but John H found an on-line supplier and I'm sure will repeat the web address if you can't find it. And there are sprays to use before applying the tape, which may help.

One final point is that if taping gives relief, it's a good sign that custom orthotics will help, so if you haven't been casted for them, it would be a good idea to investigate that option.

I hope this helps.

Re: Taping Questions:

Julie on 11/03/01 at 01:19 (064036)

Correction: I taped from October 2000, not 2001.

Re: Taping Questions

Julie on 11/03/01 at 01:23 (064037)

...and an afterthought. The 'first step' pain on getting out of bed can be alleviated with gentle movements while you're waking up. For example: curl and stretch your toes, bend your feet backwards and forwards, and circle your feet at the ankles. Five minutes or so of these, done slowly, with each foot and then with the feet together, will help to restore your calf muscles and achilles tendons to their pre-sleep length (they shorten overnight because the feet are plantarflexed). Alternatively - or preferably as well - have you tried a night splint? The N'ice Stretch advertised on this site is said to be the most comfortable.

Re: Julie , From England

Tammie on 11/03/01 at 08:51 (064043)

Is that u? How are u I do hope you are doing well! It is good to see u posting !!! I sure missed your wonderful advice to many! I hope you are well! Hugs to u.

Re: Julie , From England

Suzanne D on 11/03/01 at 09:17 (064044)

Tammie just beat me to it, Julie! I read your posts above and realized it was you before I got to the part that stated you were from England! I, too, have missed reading your posts. I hope all is well with you and that you are continuing to enjoy good walking!

I am finding that IF I wear Birkenstock I can manage fairly well as long as I don't overdo it. There is the key, isn't it? It's not always easy or feasible to find that 'happy medium'. For myself, I think I need to go back to my family doctor and discuss arthritis in general. For a long time I have had increasing stiffness everywhere - especially feet and legs - and just tried to ignore it and go on. I noticed that in my feet a long time before the pain in the arch and heel began, and it became necessary to do something in order to keep going. My pain is better on most days, but the stiffness, etc. remain. I really didn't mean to start going on about myself; I intended to say 'hello' and glad to see your posts again!

One question for you, Julie, about Birkenstock. I know that in the past I have worn my shoes way too long before replacing them, and I don't want to repeat that mistake. With the longer break-in period and expense, I want to wear them as long as possible, but not past their best benefits. My Arizonas have been worn heavily in the 3 months I have had them. I can see a little wear in certain areas. How long in general can you wear a pair before they start losing their benefit to your feet?

Thank you, and welcome back! :-)

Re: Taping Questions:

Glenn X on 11/03/01 at 12:09 (064052)

Hi Tammy: Just a couple of added thoughts on taping. John H pointed me to GNR (ptcatalog.com). They sell Leoko tape and also have a good price for 100 packets of adhesive remover (ala towelettes) that is good to use after removing the tape. John also suggested Foot Cream (with TeaTree and Lanolin) after getting the adhesive off.

I have Leuko tape, but actually use the less sturdy white athletic tape that Scott shows.

I am anticipating wearing tape until well healed, perhaps applying it less tightly as my feet progress. I don't anticipate doing anything too ambitious wearing tape. If I need that means of fascia support, I'm probably not yet ready for it.

Hey Julie!!!

Re: Suzanne: Birkenstocks

Julie on 11/03/01 at 16:59 (064064)

Suzanne, three months doesn't sound like too long to wear a pair of Birkenstock even if you were wearing them constantly. I know you wear them to school, but even so, I think they have a longer life than that. However, if you're worried about it, I would suggest you buy another pair in the same style and see if the footbed feels any different, support-wise. If the arch support of the first pair has worn down at all, its effectiveness would probably be lessened and it might be time to retire them.

Re: Yes, Tammie!

Julie on 11/03/01 at 17:03 (064065)

Hi Tammie - yes it's me. Trying not to spend so much time at the computer, but I do look in and post occasionally. I'm fine, thanks, and I hope you are too.

Re: Taping Questions:

john h on 11/03/01 at 17:58 (064066)

glenn: it was the lovely julie who pointed me towards leuko tap. she did point me towards white tape and i found the flesh tone on my own. I still use the leuko on occasion and still order from GNR. They have a nice catalog.

Re: Taping Questions:

john h on 11/03/01 at 17:59 (064067)

Julie: i did not spell tape (tap) correctly just for you. sort of like old times.

Re: Hi Julie from England a fellow Brit

sandy h. on 11/03/01 at 18:56 (064070)

I'm originally from London and now living in Hong Kong but make trips back occasionally. Any idea where the Birkenstock shops are in London, great PF treaters or motion control running shoe shops?

Re: Taping Questions:

Julie on 11/04/01 at 01:47 (064086)

Dear John, I DO appreciate your spelling tap just for me!

Re: Sandy

Julie on 11/04/01 at 01:58 (064087)

Hi Sandy

There is a specialist Birkenstock shop at 37 Neal Street, Covent Garden (very good: a huge stock, knowledgeable staff) and another (I don't know this one personally) at 1 Addison Bridge Place, W14.

Run & Become, at 42 Palmer Street, SW1, has a large stock of New Balance and other motion control shoes.

The only PF treater I know is my own podiatrist, who is pretty good: well qualified (in surgery too, though recently), Head of Podiatric Medicine at Guy's Hospital, and pod to two football teams. He works in Lewisham, and now also has an office in Harley Street. You can check out his website at http://www.londonpodiatry.com/

Hope this is useful.

Re: Sandy

sany h on 11/06/01 at 01:06 (064206)

Wow, thanks a lot. I'll do a tour this X-mas!

Re: Taping Questions:

Julie on 11/03/01 at 01:17 (064035)

Tammy, I was concerned about this too when I first started taping and, like you, was so grateful for the relief and support it gave. Perhaps my experience will be helpful to you. I taped every day for as long as I felt I needed to - from October 2001 to June 2001. During the final three months, I probably didn't need to use tape as often as I did, but I think I was a bit superstitious about trying to do without it. Then, one day, I just realized that I probably didn't need it any more, and stopped. And haven't used it since. It was a natural progression. (Unfortunately, I had just stocked up on two rolls of expensive Leuko tape - but what's money?)

I credit my recovery from PF very largely to taping, which supported the fascia and allowed it to heal while providing pain relief. Don't be frightened: tape as long as you need to. You'll know when you no longer need to.

You say you 'stepped out of bed and into your Birkenstock without tape. Does that mean you usually keep the tape on at night? You really should remove it every night to allow the skin to breathe, and apply fresh tape in the morning.

If you are keeping it on at night, that might be a reason for your feet are becoming irritated. If that's not the reason, I suggest you try a different kind of tape. I used Leuko tape, made in Germany be Beiersdorf - not easy to find in the States (I'm in England) but John H found an on-line supplier and I'm sure will repeat the web address if you can't find it. And there are sprays to use before applying the tape, which may help.

One final point is that if taping gives relief, it's a good sign that custom orthotics will help, so if you haven't been casted for them, it would be a good idea to investigate that option.

I hope this helps.

Re: Taping Questions:

Julie on 11/03/01 at 01:19 (064036)

Correction: I taped from October 2000, not 2001.

Re: Taping Questions

Julie on 11/03/01 at 01:23 (064037)

...and an afterthought. The 'first step' pain on getting out of bed can be alleviated with gentle movements while you're waking up. For example: curl and stretch your toes, bend your feet backwards and forwards, and circle your feet at the ankles. Five minutes or so of these, done slowly, with each foot and then with the feet together, will help to restore your calf muscles and achilles tendons to their pre-sleep length (they shorten overnight because the feet are plantarflexed). Alternatively - or preferably as well - have you tried a night splint? The N'ice Stretch advertised on this site is said to be the most comfortable.

Re: Julie , From England

Tammie on 11/03/01 at 08:51 (064043)

Is that u? How are u I do hope you are doing well! It is good to see u posting !!! I sure missed your wonderful advice to many! I hope you are well! Hugs to u.

Re: Julie , From England

Suzanne D on 11/03/01 at 09:17 (064044)

Tammie just beat me to it, Julie! I read your posts above and realized it was you before I got to the part that stated you were from England! I, too, have missed reading your posts. I hope all is well with you and that you are continuing to enjoy good walking!

I am finding that IF I wear Birkenstock I can manage fairly well as long as I don't overdo it. There is the key, isn't it? It's not always easy or feasible to find that 'happy medium'. For myself, I think I need to go back to my family doctor and discuss arthritis in general. For a long time I have had increasing stiffness everywhere - especially feet and legs - and just tried to ignore it and go on. I noticed that in my feet a long time before the pain in the arch and heel began, and it became necessary to do something in order to keep going. My pain is better on most days, but the stiffness, etc. remain. I really didn't mean to start going on about myself; I intended to say 'hello' and glad to see your posts again!

One question for you, Julie, about Birkenstock. I know that in the past I have worn my shoes way too long before replacing them, and I don't want to repeat that mistake. With the longer break-in period and expense, I want to wear them as long as possible, but not past their best benefits. My Arizonas have been worn heavily in the 3 months I have had them. I can see a little wear in certain areas. How long in general can you wear a pair before they start losing their benefit to your feet?

Thank you, and welcome back! :-)

Re: Taping Questions:

Glenn X on 11/03/01 at 12:09 (064052)

Hi Tammy: Just a couple of added thoughts on taping. John H pointed me to GNR (ptcatalog.com). They sell Leoko tape and also have a good price for 100 packets of adhesive remover (ala towelettes) that is good to use after removing the tape. John also suggested Foot Cream (with TeaTree and Lanolin) after getting the adhesive off.

I have Leuko tape, but actually use the less sturdy white athletic tape that Scott shows.

I am anticipating wearing tape until well healed, perhaps applying it less tightly as my feet progress. I don't anticipate doing anything too ambitious wearing tape. If I need that means of fascia support, I'm probably not yet ready for it.

Hey Julie!!!

Re: Suzanne: Birkenstocks

Julie on 11/03/01 at 16:59 (064064)

Suzanne, three months doesn't sound like too long to wear a pair of Birkenstock even if you were wearing them constantly. I know you wear them to school, but even so, I think they have a longer life than that. However, if you're worried about it, I would suggest you buy another pair in the same style and see if the footbed feels any different, support-wise. If the arch support of the first pair has worn down at all, its effectiveness would probably be lessened and it might be time to retire them.

Re: Yes, Tammie!

Julie on 11/03/01 at 17:03 (064065)

Hi Tammie - yes it's me. Trying not to spend so much time at the computer, but I do look in and post occasionally. I'm fine, thanks, and I hope you are too.

Re: Taping Questions:

john h on 11/03/01 at 17:58 (064066)

glenn: it was the lovely julie who pointed me towards leuko tap. she did point me towards white tape and i found the flesh tone on my own. I still use the leuko on occasion and still order from GNR. They have a nice catalog.

Re: Taping Questions:

john h on 11/03/01 at 17:59 (064067)

Julie: i did not spell tape (tap) correctly just for you. sort of like old times.

Re: Hi Julie from England a fellow Brit

sandy h. on 11/03/01 at 18:56 (064070)

I'm originally from London and now living in Hong Kong but make trips back occasionally. Any idea where the Birkenstock shops are in London, great PF treaters or motion control running shoe shops?

Re: Taping Questions:

Julie on 11/04/01 at 01:47 (064086)

Dear John, I DO appreciate your spelling tap just for me!

Re: Sandy

Julie on 11/04/01 at 01:58 (064087)

Hi Sandy

There is a specialist Birkenstock shop at 37 Neal Street, Covent Garden (very good: a huge stock, knowledgeable staff) and another (I don't know this one personally) at 1 Addison Bridge Place, W14.

Run & Become, at 42 Palmer Street, SW1, has a large stock of New Balance and other motion control shoes.

The only PF treater I know is my own podiatrist, who is pretty good: well qualified (in surgery too, though recently), Head of Podiatric Medicine at Guy's Hospital, and pod to two football teams. He works in Lewisham, and now also has an office in Harley Street. You can check out his website at http://www.londonpodiatry.com/

Hope this is useful.

Re: Sandy

sany h on 11/06/01 at 01:06 (064206)

Wow, thanks a lot. I'll do a tour this X-mas!