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Long term effects of taping?

Posted by Steve C. on 9/05/03 at 14:46 (128876)

I've been taping my right foot for about 9 months to relieve heel pain, (thank God for this web site, by the way) thought I should try and wean myself off the tape. I didn't tape for about a week, then went and played golf last weekend without the tape. Big mistake!

PF is back with a vengeance, with pain in the middle of my heel instead of the back of my heel as before. Went to a new DPM yesterday, he taped my foot, told me to keep it on for a week. Foot is sore, but I believe is starting to heel.

I'm wondering if there are any negative effects from long term taping of your feet? Anybody out there been taping for years?

Re: Long term effects of taping?

Rick R on 9/05/03 at 16:48 (128885)

I have been taping for over a decade. I used to tape every morning just to be able to function. Post surgery, I only tape for running, long days on my feet, on a ladder for more than a few minutes and other strenuous activities. My skin has toughened but other than that no long term effects. I do use a gauze of sorts so that no tape contacts the skin. I also use 11 mil contractor grade duct tape, not a good thing to apply directly.


Re: Long term effects of taping?

R C on 9/05/03 at 19:12 (128895)


I have been taping for about 2.5 years now. I taped continuously for about 6 months, and that helped a great deal but didn't cure the PF. So I did 4 weeks of hard cast + crutches, which really allowed for significant healing. Then for the two years since, I have been taping my foot first thing in the morning, every morning. The result is that I am now completely pain free.

For a while I tried to wean myself off the tape, by going tapelss (say) in the evenings at home. But this became difficult because with two small kids it's impossible not to have to carry them around. So now I just tape all the time again.
The only exceptions are when I'm in bed, in the shower, or gone swimming.

I especially tape my foot well when golfing. This is because the violent weight shift that occurs in a full swing puts a lot of pressure on the fascia.

There is some discomfort due to the taping itself, not unlike having to wear tight shoes.

I have not noticed any ill effects. Going to and from the swimming pool, un taped, my foot feels 100% normal. I suppose I could try to go without for longer periods, but I just cannot risk re-injury.

I use Henry Schein brand athletic tape, and highly recommend it.

Re: Question for R.C. Re: Long term effects of taping?

Sandra D on 9/05/03 at 21:53 (128914)

R.C. Did a doctor put you in the cast? Or did you just do it yourself. I have thought about that, however my GP doctor recommended against it. Just wondering if I could do it myself.
Thanks for responding

Sandra D

Re: Question for R.C. Re: Long term effects of taping?

R C on 9/05/03 at 22:29 (128920)

My cast was put on by a orthopaedic technician, and in my view it takes that kind of expert to get it done right. The cast was one of those fiberglass wraps, initally moist and flexible, but quickly hardens when exposed to oxygen. It takes a fancy saw to remove it, too.

The best advice I ever got about the cast:
(1) Use crutches to keep the weight off completely (the nurse says that is the best predictor of success, in her years of practice);
(2) Don't expect to walk immediately after the cast comes off (you probably will need PT to undo the immobolization -- but hopefully the PF will be much improved).

Re: Long term effects of taping?

Steve C. on 9/06/03 at 07:13 (128933)

Rick, this is probably a dumb question, but if tape enabled you to function, why did you elect to have the surgery?

Re: Long term effects of taping?

Rick R on 9/06/03 at 07:32 (128935)


It sounds like your positive results with taping are quite similar to mine. How do you apply the tape? I don't use Scott's method, I tape around the foot under the arch very tightly just in fromt of the heel. I go once around the ankel to anchor things in place, taking care not to go too tightly around the achilles. I'll provide more detail if anyone wants it.

I'm sure there is better athletic tape out there than I have found and tried but so far the best isn't even in the team photo. Duct tape keeps it's tension as the day wears on and holds when wet. I would sure be reluctant to mess with something that is working so well for you.
I have managed to get to where I can go tapeless for most days but occasionally pay the price.

I'll have to keep my eyes out for Henry Schein tape.


Re: Long term effects of taping?

R C on 9/06/03 at 08:58 (128942)

I alternate between the two methods in Scott's book. This keeps the foot from getting sore from the taping itself. Before golfing I sort of double up. In my case the requirement is to keep the foot from elongating when weight is applied. My feet are so flat that any attempt to force an arch just makes the PF worse.

Re: Long term effects of taping?

Steve C. on 9/07/03 at 09:14 (129014)

I'm interested in the details of your taping method. I learned the method Scott proposed from this web site, and have been using it for 9 months. My doctor has me taped now differently, I believe it is what you describe. Small strips under my arch, one strip around the ankle to anchor. I would like to reproduce it when this tape comes off.