Introduction: Ankle Taping Made Easy
Ankle Taping Made Easy is a user friendly instructional guide for physically active individuals that want to prevent ankle injuries or add support and stability to an acquired ankle injury during the rehabilitation stage by taping their ankles. This instructional guide is meant to provide users with the basic knowledge and skill on how to easily, but effectively tape an ankle. This type of ankle tape provided by the instructions can be used for many different types of ankle problems such as ankle weakness, ankle sprains, inflamed tendons, and stretched ligaments. It can also be used to prevent any of these common injuries. By using these instructions provided in Ankle Taping Made Easy, users will be able to feel comfortable, supported, stable, and pain free during physical activity. Ankle taping takes patience and practice, but with these instructions, ankle taping will be made easy!
1 Roll of Johnson & Johnson 1 inch athletic tape (color is users preference)
1 Roll of Arrowhead Athletics 2 inch thin flex athletic tape
1 Roll of Cramer Pre-Wrap 2.5 inch any color
1 Set of Cramer Heel and Lace Pads
1 Pair of Athletic Scissors
****NOTE: All of these materials can be purchased at sporting good stores such as Academy, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Sports Authority. They can also be purchased in the sports section at Walmart.****
Step 1: Apply Heel & Lace Pads
a. Apply heel and lace pads over the top and the bottom of the ankle at the flexion points to help prevent blisters.
****TIP: Heel and lace pads do not have to be used. It is preferred by most users in order to prevent blisters from the tape.****
Step 2: Apply Pre-Wrap
a. To apply pre-wrap, start wrapping at the top of the shin and bottom of the calf, clockwise, over and under, stop at the base of the toes
b. If you find the pre-wrap rolling up, take off the pre-wrap and try again because where the tape is rolled up, the patient/user may acquire a blister. If this happens, just slow down when wrapping and try again.
Step 3: Grab Johnson & Johnson Tape
a. The color of tape is the user’s preference
b. This type of tape is very strong, but also easy to tear. It offers more stability to the tape job.
****TIP: When applying the tape, do not be loose with it. It needs to be a little tight for stability.****
Step 4: Apply Anchor Strips
a. Start at the top of the shin and the base of the calf. The tape should be at a downward angle and wrap around the shin.
Step 5: Apply Second Anchor Strip
a. Overlap the tape and angle it just as the first anchor strip
Step 6: Apply Stirrup Strips
a. Begin from the medial (inside) side of the leg at the anchor strips
b. pull downward over the medial (inside) anklebone and wrap under the heel
c. pull upward over the lateral (outside) anklebone and stop at the top of the anchor strips on the lateral (outside) side
****CAUTION: The stirrup strips MUST be applied inside to outside. This helps prevent inversion of the foot, causing injury. Inversion happens when the ankle/foot twists inward.****
Step 7: Apply Second Stirrup Strip
a. Apply the same steps as the first stirrup, but the second stirrup should be overlapping the first one
b. Overlap the tape by half the width of the first stirrup
c. Cover both the medial and lateral anklebones from top to bottom Pat down the Stirrup Strips to make sure they will not peel off
Step 8: Apply Cover Strip at the Top of the Stirrups
a. Secure stirrup strips by applying the cover strip
Step 9: Grab the Arrowhead Athletics Thin Flex Tape
****TIP: Use this tape for steps 10-14. Because of the flexibility of the this type of tape, it will be easier to apply at sharp angles around the ankle. The Johnson & Johnson tape may be used for steps 10-14, but it will be more difficult.****
Step 10: Apply a Heel Lock
a. Start above the medial ankle bone at a downward angle
b. Progress over the top of the medial ankle joint downward
c. Wrap under the arch of the ankle at a downward angle
d. Take the tape around the lateral side of the heel and around the lateral anklebone.
Step 11: Apply Second Heel Lock to the Opposite Side
a. Apply the same steps used in applying the first heel lock
Step 12: Apply Two Sets of Heel Locks on Both the Lateral (Outside) and Medial (Inside) Sides
a. Tear the tape after each heel lock is completed to ensure stability and proper angles
Step 13: Apply a Figure 8
****TIP: Note that this is an extra step. Applying Figure 8's into the tape job just adds more stability to the ankle. It is okay to skip this step for it is not mandatory to use.****
a. Apply the first figure 8 by starting at the base of the foot (Bottom of foot), pull out a portion of the tape
b. Lay on bottom of foot, leaving a portion of the tape on each side
c. Lay that set aside portion of tape on top of the foot
d. Take the other portion of tape, wrap it around the ankle, and back to the top of the foot.
e. It should be in an X formation at the top of the foot
Step 14: Apply a Second Figure 8
a. Apply the second figure 8 directly on top of the first one
Step 15: Apply Cover Strips to Remaining Holes
a. Apply cover strips using Thin Flex tape to the ends of the heel locks and figure 8s to secure the tape and make sure it doesn’t peel off during play
b. Use Johnson & Johnson tape to finish the ankle tape, apply more cover strips to any holes (where pre-wrap is noticeable) and to clean up the ankle tape. This will prevent any blisters to the foot.
Step 16: Check Patient's Circulation and Comfort Level
a. Have patient/user walk around to check the stability of the ankle tape.
****CAUTION: Be sure to check the circulation of the foot by having the athlete wiggle their toes and checking the coloring of the nail buds before releasing them to play. If the toes aren’t able to wiggle their toes or the nail buds are showing color (blue, purple), the tape is too tight and will cut off circulation. If the foot has poor circulation from the tape, cut the tape of immediately with athletic scissors and redo the tape job. Poor circulation to the foot can cause many issues such as nerve damage and blood pooling, so it is very important to check the circulation.****
b. If circulation is good and the patient is comfortable with the tape, the patient is good to go and ready for physical activity!
Step 17: Remove Tape Using Athletic Scissors
a. When the patient/user is finished with physical activity, they can remove the tape using athletic scissors.
****HAZARD: Do not use regular scissors. You will put yourself at risk and can slice your foot/leg open****
b. Using the scissors, start at the top of the tape job
c. Cut downward, around the heel, and down the foot
c. Pull or slide off tape to remove
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