Monday, March 4, 2013

Mix tape

So, I know plantar fascitis.  I've dealt with it again and again, missing key races (including my goal marathon last fall).  Currently, I'm doing well, but I'm always aware of the potential for it to reappear.  Sadly, I also have friends who battle it.

One of my big allies against plantar fascitis is tape. There's a wealth of information on how to tape, with two methods getting the most attention:  the lo-dye taping method (using athletic tape) and kineseo taping.  I've tried both, and found neither to work perfectly.  The kineseo taping method gave too little support when running.  In contrast, the lo-dye method was too restrictive -- the arch of the foot acts as a spring, and the lo-dye method completely locked that spring in place.  As a result, my foot felt like a block, not a spring, and all sorts of other muscles became stiff and sore in compensation.

However, a combo of the two taping methods -- essentially the lo-dye taping method, but substituting kineseo tape (can be KT tape, Rock Tape, or something else) for certain parts, works fantastically.  Here's how I do it.

What you'll need:

-one roll kineseo tape (I prefer Rock Tape, because it seems most durable and has cool pattens)
-one roll sports tape (1.5 inch wide)
-one roll cloth or sports tape (1 inch wide)
-scissors
-one knee length stocking

Note - when applying this tape, keep your foot gently pointed.  The objective here is to contract the plantar fascia slightly (to take the strain off) and then lock it in that position.







Step 1: 


Place an anchor strip of 1.5 inch sports tape
across the ball of your foot.
Step 2:
Take a long strip of 1" tape, and
run from ball of big toe across foot to heel,
loop around the heel and then back to ball of big toe.
Step 3
Take a long strip of 1" tape, and
run from ball of little toe across foot to heel,
loop around the heel and then back to ball of little toe.
Step 4-5
Take two more long strips of 1" inch sports tape;
loop one from ball of big toe to behind heel to ball of little toe;
loop the other from ball of little toe to behind heel to ball of big toe
(essentially making two "X"s, one atop the other)
Step 6
Take several short strips of 1.5" sports tape,
and run each laterally across the bottom of the foot,
starting at the heel and working forward to the ball of foot.
Each strip should overlap the previous one slightly.
What this step looks like when completed.

Step 7
Now you get to use the Rock Tape. 
Run a long strip of it (stretching it very slightly)
from the outside of your little toe
around the outside of your heel to
the outside of your big toe.
You want to cover the ends of the strips of sport tape
that cross your foot.

 Step 8

And...take your second strip of Rock Tape,
and run it laterally from the top of your foot
(above the metatarsals) laterally under the ball of your foot
and around to the other side, essentially circling your foot at the ball.
Slight tension here.  This locks the whole thing in.
(it should cover both ends of the previous strip of Rock Tape)

Another view of the completed job
Step 9
Final step - cut the knee length stocking so that it just covers your foot,
and then slip it on over your tape job. 
This makes it much easier to put on socks/shoes without disrupting your tape job.

Fin!  

[goes without saying, but I'll say anyway - I am not a Doctor, PT, or other rehab expert.   (nor do I own stock in Rock Tape).  Use this at your own risk.  And if you're at the point where you're taping your PF, you really need to see a professional anyway.  But hopefully this is still helpful.]

4 comments:

  1. You might check into cold laser therapy. A lot of chiropractors use it. I have a unit that I use on pets and it has done wonders for my PF when I had it.
    clay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm actually not dealing with it personally at the moment. I've had good luck with ART and dry needling when I have battled it. Plus the Strasburg sock.

      Delete
  2. Great info as always Cris. Love how thoroughly you look at things and analyze what you observe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You sure have a very creative and nifty way of dealing with your Plantar fasciitis. It actually looks like a fashion statement! Anyway, how is it? It is sad to hear that you’ve missed a couple of races and marathons. For a runner like you, I’m sure it is quite frustrating. Were you able to check with your doctor? A “mix tape” can give you a temporary solution, but I think seeing a medical professional would give you a long-lasting results.

    ReplyDelete