Kinesio Taping Technique For Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis is the most dreaded and yet one of the most commonly occurring sports injuries. Sports which involve lunging, jumping and rigorous running are a major cause of Achilles tendonitis (AT). Though a common injury among sportsmen, AT is also frequently seen in individuals indulging in recreational sports activity. AT can be vastly improved if kinesio tape is used in the correct way. Here are two of the most widely used taping techniques which can protect this vital tendon from injuries and also improve healing.
The Achilles tendon is a large tendon located in the back of the ankle which becomes inflamed due to overuse. The overexertion causes degenerative, microscopic tears in the tendon making is inflamed and stiff. There is severe pain the watershed zone of the tendon which is located just over an inch above the place where the tendon attaches the heel. Though sports are considered to be the main cause, it could also be caused by high-heeled footwear, injury, age and change in exercise routines.
This taping technique involves use of three or four kinesio tape strips depending on the severity of the injury. The first strip is used for tendon correction and so is placed on the Achilles tendon. Another strip might be place on the fascia plantar depending on the severity of the injury as fascia and the tendon have a continual layer of connective tissue. The second strip is placed on the gastrocnemius muscle while the third strip is placed on the plantar surface to anchor the previous two strips.
– Step #1
Measure a kinesio tape for length beginning from the base of your toes or start of the metatarsal head to the musculotendinosus junction placed at the back of your ankle where the soleus muscle meets the Achilles tendon. Make a fan cut on one end of the strip whose length should equal the plantar surface of your foot. Now, tear the paper backing just at the base of the fan cut and place the strip on the heel of the patient. The strip should be cut in such a way that it comfortably reaches around two inches beyond the musculotendinosus junction. Now apply the fan strip to the rest of the plantar surface.
– Step #2
The second strip to be used is a Y-strip which is placed on the anterior side of calcaneus (base of the foot, heel). The foot should be placed in the dorsiflexed position (foot pulled towards the body) when the Y strip is applied around the gastrocnemius muscle which covers the calf region. The technique used for this application is insertion-to-origin with light tension applied to the strip or just the paper off tension.
– Step #3
The third strip is placed on the plantar surface of the foot where both the above strips meet. There is no medical benefit in application of this strip but it helps in keeping the other two strips in place for a longer duration. It is recommended that you use the waterproof kinesio tape for longevity.