What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
As you may know, plantar fasciitis is from an excess pulling on the plantar fascia. This is a long fibrous band on the bottom of the foot that runs from the toes to the heel bone (calcaneous). Inflammation and possible subsequent degeneration of the fascia occurs from strains of the fascia. This is either within the fascia itself or as it pulls from its’ attachment to the heel bone or both. It typically occurs when you go to push off and bend your toes. This is also known as the propulsion phase of gait. It is important to understand what causes the heel pain in order to understand why taping for plantar fasciitis may be helpful.
Can Athletic Taping Help Plantar Fasciitis?
The propulsion phase of gait varies among individuals as different types of feet function differently. Henceforth, taping should be designed to offset this pull in each type of foot. Accomplishing such can lead to a very successful treatment alternative for plantar fasciitis.
However, taping applied without consideration of foot type and soft tissue morphology may lead to unnecessary failure. I’ve seen multiple attempts of taping either from self-tapers or other medical providers. It is not as easy as watching a YouTube video and applying it. Experience and the understanding of the foot type is critical. For example, some foot types require significant inversion of the foot upon application and some do not. Also, the compressive forces of the tape while applying will vary. It will not only depend on the foot type but also the “flexibility” of the soft tissue.
So when some say “I Tried Taping and It Doesn’t Help”, I question who did it and how it was applied. Especially, self-tapers as it is very difficult to position the foot where it needs to be.
Careful consideration of foot type, soft tissue morphology and pathology as well as experience will greatly affect the success rate of helping plantar fasciitis and other tendonitis pathologies.
David J. Sables, D.P.M., C.Ped
ArchMasters-Orthotics, Shoes & Footcare, LLC