Ankle taping can be a useful skill to know how to perform. This tape job can help prevent and support your ankle from lateral ankle sprains which is one of the most common injuries in sports or exercise. This particular ankle tape job I will be discussing is a variation of the closed basket weave technique which I perform daily myself. The supplies you will need are:
- 1 1/2 inch non-elastic tape
- Tuf-Skin spray adhesive
Step 1: Prepping the Ankle
- Start off the process by having your client seated with their foot dorsiflexed (toes pointed up)
- Spray the tuf-skin adhesive over the area that the tape will cover to help it stick.
- Follow this by using a tongue depressor or something similar and spreading vaseline on the front and back of the ankle to prevent blisters.
Step 2: Apply Pre-Wrap
- Starting at the base of the foot, near the toes, wrap pre-wrap around the foot until you reach the base of the calf.
Step 3: Anchor Strips
- Apply one strip on the skin on the base of the calf and one strip around the base of the metatarsals (half of an inch below the pinky toe).
- Following your anchor strips, place 2-3 strips around the calf with them overlapping halfway.
Step 4: Horseshoe and Stirrup Strips
- Starting on the medial side (inside) of the foot, place a strip of tape going down the leg and around the bottom of the foot and attach it to the lateral side (outside) near the starting point. These are called stirrup strips.
- Be sure to apply tension when going around the foot as this locks the foot in a position to avoid lateral ankle sprains
- Now to do the horseshoe strips, you should also start on the medial side at the base of our foot, and start a strip of tape on the anchor strip and go around the heel of the foot attaching on the lateral side.
- Be sure not to pull to hard and compress the back of the heel also known as the achilles tendon.
- You should do 3 of each strip and overlap them halfway similar to how you did the anchor strips.
Note: Pictures labeled 1 are stirrups and ones labeled 2 are horseshoes.
Step 5: Heel Locks
- These strips are put in place to hold the ankle still and prevent any unwanted movements.
- One thing to keep in mind with these strips is that you should always follow the tape and allow it to lay down flat without wrinkles. If the angle isn't correct, pull off the tape and re-position it.
- To do this strip, you should start by placing the tape down on the front of the ankle
- Proceed at a flat angle around the back of the heel
- Continue with the tape going under the foot
- End with the strip coming back across the front of the ankle.
- Repeat going the opposite way around the lateral side of the foot.
Tip: When doing a heel lock, to help get the angle correct, you should try to make a diamond around the bone that sticks out of the side of your ankle.
Step 6: Cover Strips
- Simply apply strips going around the ankle one at a time to close up the tape job.
- There shouldn't be any yellow showing except the point of the heel.
Step 7: J Strips
- These are strips that you use to cover the bottom and inside of the foot.
- Start on the inside of the foot and wrap the strip diagonally around the foot to cover any openings.
Step 8: Finished
- Make sure all of the strips are laid down completely and there isn't any pre-wrap showing.
- Squeeze the toes gently to see if there is good blood flow to the extremities.
- Toes should turn white when you squeeze and return to normal immediately after.
- Movement should be limited in all directions.
- It takes practice to make the tape job look smooth and nice, your main focus on completing your goal is obtaining support to prevent further injury.