Taping for Plantar Fasciitis
Print this page.  Please consult a doctor before taping.
Sometimes only the first piece of tape is required.
Order Athletic Tape
Too much tension in the plantar fascia causes plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.  There may be pain in the heel, arch, and other areas of the bottom of the foot, especially in the morning when the calf muscles are tight.  Daily tension in the plantar fascia causes re-injury and prevents healing.  The tension occurs when standing, walking, running, and any activity that increases weight on the front of the feet (not the heel). Too much tension in the plantar fascia can be caused by being overweight, stair climbing, lifting heavy objects, pushing a lawn mower, running uphill, and stretching the calf muscles.  Athletic tape is applied to the same area as the plantar fascia and reduces tension by preventing the fascia from stretching.  Like the plantar fascia, the tape is connected to the front of the foot and to the heel.  Tension is in the tape instead of in the plantar fascia because the tape does not stretch. This allows the fascia to rest and heal.  The tape has to stick to the skin for it to work because tension is being transferred through the skin.  Only athletic tape should be used.  It can be applied every morning, but it must be removed every evening to allow the skin to breathe.  There are risks to taping such as ankle pain, Achilles pain, allergic reaction, skin tearing, and moist skin peeling off when removing the tape.  It can be applied more tightly in severe cases, but this may worsen the above problems.  Running and lifting heavy objects also increase the complications of taping.  The skin has to be cleaned with non-moisturizing soap (e.g. Dial™) and water and then dried so that the tape will stick.  Bottled water may be necessary in areas that have soft water to help it stick.  Patients have reported hair-spray helps tape stick.  Others have reported Maalox applied to the skin before taping helps protect the skin.  Another strip of tape can be placed around the arch (at a 90 degree angle to the other strips) to help keep the bottom strips connected and to distribute the tension better.  The tape should not come too far up on the back of the heel because the skin needs to stretch there when walking.  Using tape and arch support together increases the effectiveness of both.  The calf muscles should be stretched immediately after applying tape to reduce the complications of taping.  If a benefit from taping is not noticed within minutes or a week, then it may not be helping.  Tape can be applied every day indefinitely.  Athletic tape is available here at heelspurs.com (334) 303-2604 and at pharmacies and athletic stores.  To see the newest version of this document go to www.heelspurs.com/tape.html

Other treatments to remember: losing weight, stretching the calf muscles, stretching and massaging the plantar fascia, ice, rest, arch support, soft shoe inserts, and heel cushions.

2005 heelspurs.com LLC. scott@heelspurs.com  This page may be printed but not modified or distributed electronically. By taping as described herein, you agree to assume full responsibility for any harm that may result.
Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video
Powerstep Night Splints Ibuprofen Cream ProStretch LED Light Therapy