Taping is used for sports injuries and offers numerous benefits. Taping assists in the retention of wound dressings. It stabilizes compression to prevent internal and external hemorrhaging. And it supports recent injuries to prevent additional damage that may result from further athletic activity. Modern adhesive linen tape is best to use for taping sports injuries due to its adhesion qualities. When taping injuries, it's best to have the assistance of a qualified professional but in the event that you can't get to one in time, follow a few simple procedures to tape injuries properly.
- First, be sure to have the athlete position him or herself correctly: the ankle should be hanging off the table (preferably a raised taping table to save your back) from about the mid lower leg. The ankle should be kept at a ninety degree angle the entire time you are taping it.
- Spray the ankle and distal lower leg with tape adherent. Apply the underwrap starting at the point where the Achilles tendon turns into the calf muscles (just about the distal third of the lower leg). Wrap the underwrap around the lower leg and ankles, down to the mid foot and back up to where you started. There are no fancy angles or techniques with the underwrap.
- Apply three individual anchor strips at the top of the underwrap you have already applied. Rip each strip at the front to control the tightness.
- Apply the "figure eight": Starting on the lateral foot, bring the tape over to the medial side to the arch of the foot, under the foot, around the back of the ankle and finish where started.
- Apply the Lateral Heel Lock: Starting just about where you began the "figure eight", bring the tape over to the medial side of the arch of the foot, just slightly behind the "figure eight" (about 1/3 the width of the tape), under the foot and UP the lateral side of the heel at a 45 degree angle. Finish the Lateral Heel Lock by bringing the tape around the Achilles tendon and around to the front of the ankle.
- Apply the Medial Heel Lock: Starting where you finished the Lateral Heel Lock, bring the tape around the back of the Achilles tendon, and DOWN the medial side of the heel at a 45 degree angle. Bring the tape under the foot and finish at the front of the ankle.
- Apply Three Stirrups: Starting on the medial side of the three anchors from step 3, bring the tape down the medial side of the ankle to the middle of the arch of the foot, under the foot, and back up the lateral side of the ankle to the anchor strips. Repeat 2 more times, and place an anchor strip around the three stirrups at the top.
- Apply Three Horseshoes: Starting at the medial side of the ankle, just above the malleolus (the bump on the sides of the ankles), bring the tape around the back of the ankle to the lateral side of the ankle. Overlapping by 1/2, place 2-3 more horseshoes(depending on the size of the ankle), working downward, covering all areas still showing underwrap (windows).
- Repeat step 4: Apply another Figure Eight, Lateral Heel Lock and Medial Heel Lock.
Close the job with strips of tape up the ankle to the starting point, and you're done.
Watch a video on ankle taping: http://www.humankinetics.com/hkarticles/hk-articles/view-a-demonstration-of-ankle-taping
For more information on taping go to: http://www.livestrong.com/article/185801-taping-for-athletic-training/