For athletes and very active individuals, one of the common injuries is a tear or strain of the plantar fascia. It's the tissue that runs from your heel to your toe along the sole of your foot, and when it is damaged, it causes pain when you walk or move your foot. If you've been feeling pain on the inside edge of the sole of your foot, that's an indication that you may have plantar fasciitis, or inflammation and straining of the plantar fascia. Luckily, you can ease the pain and encourage the tissue to heal with some taping techniques.
Preparing Your Foot for Taping
Before you tape your foot, you need to make sure that the tape will hold up against any sweat or skin oil. The best way to do this is by spraying your foot with a sports adhesive. This makes the skin tacky, so the tape can stick easier. You also need to be sure that you keep your foot relaxed the whole time. If you don't, you'll end up with tape that's too tight to allow your foot to move.
Standard Supportive Tape
If your plantar fascia is mildly strained, a standard supportive tape routine should suffice. Use medium-width athletic tape to get sufficient support. Cut a strip that's long enough to cover the bottom of your foot from the base of your little toe all the way around your heel and back across the top of your foot to return to your little toe.
Do the same thing with another strip of tape that starts directly beneath your big toe. The tape should run across the lower part of the inside sole of your foot, then cross over the top of your foot to reach your big toe. When finished, you'll see an "X" on the top and bottom of your foot.
Add a couple of strips of tape across the width of your foot underneath. Space them an inch or so apart, making sure that the strips reach around the side of your foot on each side. This adds more support and keeps the original tape strips in place.
Adding More Support
If you find that the basic "X" isn't supporting your plantar fascia enough, you might need to opt for a more extensive taping method. Attach a strip of tape to the ball of your foot, stretch it across the base of your foot and around the top so that it meets on the other side to form a complete wrap. Apply another strip of tape around your heel, starting at one ankle bone and reaching the other across the base of your foot.
Cut a long strip of tape that you can attach to the center of your heel and stretch across to the ball of your foot. It will cross the bottom of your foot diagonally. Attach another strip of tape to the ball of your foot, stretch it across the top of your foot and wrap it around to your heel. Add a strip of tape down the center of your foot so that you connect the piece you wrapped around the heel with the piece that you wrapped around your foot at the ball, which were the first two pieces you put on. Finally, add one strip of tape along the inside of your foot's arch. This will help you with some additional arch and plantar fascia support.
If you aren't comfortable taping the foot yourself or your pain persists after several days of taping, you should talk with a sports medicine specialist, such as Dr. Lisa M. Schoene, for more guidance.