The Achilles tendon helps with leg movement, which is necessary for running. However, this tendon that connects your calf to your heel can be prone to irritation and injury. Taping your Achilles tendon for running may help relieve some of these issues.
Taping with kinesiology tape can help prevent injury and speed healing. It usually involves supporting the heel, arch of the foot, Achilles tendon, and surrounding muscles. Taping your Achilles with athletic tape provides more rigid support, it can be more beneficial for ongoing Achilles injuries. Wondering which type of tape is right for you and how to tape your Achilles tendon for running? Read on!
How To Tape Achilles Tendon for running?
Most Achilles’ problems stem from overuse. The tendon can become inflamed and irritated, this can lead to discomfort, pain, and tightness. The ache most runners feel is usually a result of microtears to the tendon.
Taping the Achilles tendon provides support. It also may help promote healing to the micro-tearing of the tendon. There are two types of tape relied upon for Achilles tendon taping; kinesiology tape and athletic tape.
Both of these taping methods may help with Achilles tendon issues. However, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which taping method might be best for you before you begin.
KT Tape can be used for less severe Achilles irritation. It is often applied when the initial injury and pain has tapered off as a way to prevent further problems and speed healing. Before diving into the application methods, here’s some key points about KT tape:
- • Recently popularized
- • Breathable and more flexible
- • Less supportive
- • Known for lifting the skin to boost blood flow and lymph circulation
- • Commonly sought to promote healing and also as a preventative measure
- • Referred to as KT tape
If you are looking to provide modest support to your joint while lifting the skin to improve blood flow, this KT taping method may help.
- Sit in a chair and place the foot with the Achilles issue on your opposite knee to support the foot
- Flexing your ankle, pushing through your heel, secure two inches worth of tape to the bottom of your heel, leave the unfastened portion of tape pointing up towards your calf
- Lightly stretch the unfastened tape and gently stick it up the length of your calf
- Take another piece of tape and cut it in half. With light stretch fasten it across the back of your heel and ankle
- Take the remaining tape half and fasten it over any other areas of discomfort with a light stretch
Most runners turn to athletic tape immediately following an injury. It provides a high level of support while reducing your range of motion, allowing the area to heal, and reducing further injury. We’ll look at the best way to apply athletic tape shortly, but here’s some key points to understand first:
- • Traditionally used and well known
- • Rigid and supportive
- • Non-breathable
- • Provides compression as well as support
- • Used immediately post-injury
- • Similar to a brace
For runners who want advanced support to protect the area while it heals as well as to limit motion, reducing injury, the following athletic taping method might be beneficial:
- Use pre-wrap or under wrap to protect your foot and ankle
- Using two pieces of tape, wrap the upper ankle and the ball of your foot to form an anchor
- Using a long, wide piece of tape, tape from the anchor on the back of your calf down over your heel and to the other anchor on the ball of your foot
- Repeat this with two more pieces of tape, slightly staggering them so they form a narrow “X”
- Use more tape as necessary to form anchor pieces over top of the tape to secure them
When Is Taping Not a Good Idea?
Taping can help speed recovery and prevent further injury, but it isn’t always advisable. Taping should not be used for severe injuries such as Achilles tendon tears or ruptures. Bone fractures or breaks as well as skin wounds should not be taped at home. Of course, if you have other issues that tape could worsen, such as poor circulation or tape allergies, taping is not advised.
Taping under the guidance of a medical professional is always a good idea. This way you can be sure you aren’t causing an issue with other joints surrounding the tape or becoming reliant on the tape’s support.
Next, we’ll look at how to treat Achilles tendonitis pain from running which gives some great tips and takeaways that you can use today.