My Taping and Stretching Methods for Plantar Fasciitis

I am not a doctor. Follow my advice at your own risk.

This is my technique. It is not necessarily what anyone else should do. It allows the fascia have complete rest. My method connot be used for those wanting to run unless the tape does not go all the way up to the ball of the foot. Not going all the way up to the ball of the foot similates the standard low-dye method and is more appropriate for runners. Here and here are pictures of a "low-dye" taping method. I have also seen a figure-8 "low-dye" method that goes around the back and bottom of the heel instead of just the one strap that is used in the pictures above.

It is necessary for the foot to have been recently washed with soap and water in order for it to stick.

I tape before stretching to keep from reinjuring the fascia.

I have to have heel lifts whenever using the tape to help prevent damage to the achilles tendon.

The purpose of the tape is to take the tension away from the fascia. The pictures below show duct tape placed on top of athletic tape, but I no longer use duct tape because it looses its tension too quickly. I now use two strips of athletic tape.

While the foot is in a relaxed, neutral position, I apply 2 strips of athletic tape from the front (ball) of the foot to the heel and continue on around to the back of the heel. A less agressive method is to bend the foot back towards the shin a little when applying the tape so that there is not as much tension in the tape after it has been applied. This will help delay the achilles tendonitis, ankle pain, and skin tearing problems that can and will develop if you use this method. I no longer come around the heel as far as the pictures show; it hurts because it pulls on the skin in the back, making it feel as if it is my tendon that is hurting when it is actually just the skin being stretched. You should be able to see the tension in the tape when you stand on it. It took a lot of practice to learn how to apply the tape correctly and to know when more (or less) tension was needed.

The safest implementation of my method (in terms of not injuring the achilles tendon, ankle, and skin) is to let the tape follow and stick to the bottom of the arch, unlike the pictures below which show the most aggressive method. But the aggressive method gives the fascia the most rest.

My Stretching Technique.

I tighten my calf muscles to greatly increase the effectiveness of the stretch. The brick can be slid under the 1"x12"x12" slab to adjust the angle. I can easily gauge my progress by how far the brick can be slid under the slab. My feet (or foot, my right foot is all but cured) are ALWAYS taped when doing this. I do it once in the morning after I wake up, and once in the evening before I go to bed. When flexing my calf muscles, it can be finished in a couple of minutes. Otherwise, 5+ minutes are needed. They say stretch for 30 seconds, rest for a few seconds, and then do it again, but I've had better luck with 60 second cycles.

Picture of a Night Splint.

When using the night splint, I tape my foot as tight as possible by pulling my toes inward (as shown in the first picture) and then tightly applying tape. Using the splint without tape definately hurts my fascia. Some people report good success with the night splint. I assume there are not many people using tape with it. The splint definately increases the flexibility of the calf muscles.

All the stuff I've tried.

The Silicon (fluid) Dynamic Orthotics are to the left. The green strap is a Thera-band. The two heel lifts to the bottom right are too soft and did more harm than good. The brown cork orthotic is leaning against athletic tape. The two Spenco 3/4 length moldable othotics from the "Foot Locker" are to the right.

My daily foot wear.

My good, hard, Viscolas heel lifts are taped with duct tape to the bottom of my blue and white orthotics. The brown paper gives additional elevation to my left foot. The running shoes add a little more lift.

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