How to Use an Athletic Wrap for Foot Arches

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Pain the arch of your foot can have several causes, including plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendinitis and medial tibial stress syndrome, according to Podiatry Today. As the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" points out, arch pain is sometimes linked to injuries on the inside, or medial side, of the leg and at the knee. To relieve the pain associated with these conditions, as well as to prevent further injury, use athletic taping techniques to support and stabilize the arch. The low-dye taping technique is generally easier to master, but the X-crossing technique may offer slightly greater support for the plantar region of the foot.

Low-Dye Technique

Step 1

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Place your foot in a neutral position (not flexed or pointed) with the big toe bent downward slightly.

Step 2

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Wrap a 1-inch wide strip of tape around your heel, beginning at the bottom of your big toe and ending under the bottom of your pinkie toe. Keep the tape low on the ankle so you do not irritate the Achilles tendon, but not so low that it's under the heel.

Step 3

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Wrap the tape under your arch toward the inside of your foot. Begin on the outside of your foot, and use 2-inch strips. Continue to place strips across your arch, overlapping them by one half each, until you have strips from the bottom of the ball of your foot to the beginning of your heel.

Step 4

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Repeat Step 2, adding another anchor wrap around your heel to secure the arch strips.

X-Crossing Technique

Step 1

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Place the foot in a neutral position with the big toe bending downward slightly.

Step 2

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Wrap the tape from the bottom of your big toe around your heel and back across the bottom of your foot to the starting position. Use a 1-inch-wide strip. The tape should go from inside the foot to outside the foot.

Step 3

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Cut a long strip of tape to apply in an "X" across the arch of your foot. Apply one end of the tape at the bottom of your pinkie toe. Bring the tape across the arch and wind it around the back of the heel. Cross back over the tape at the arch and anchor the end under the big toe. The tape should form an “X” on the underside of your foot's arch.

Step 4

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Place several 2-inch strips from the outside of your foot toward the inside, going over the "X" that is formed by the tape under your foot at the arch.

Tip

It can be helpful to have someone else wrap your feet for you so that the tape does not wrinkle or become too tight. Shave your feet and thoroughly clean them before applying the tape.

Warning

Athletic tape can irritate skin. Using an underwarp can reduce that irritation.

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