It is no secret that ankle taping and strapping work wonders in minimizing the risk of an ankle injury. In this quick guide, you will learn how taping helps in preventing ankle sprains and injuries. You will also be introduced to a few different ways of taping as well as discover the best products available.
What is Ankle Taping or Strapping?
Ankle taping or strapping refers to the process used in physiotherapy that aims to protect the joints, muscles, bones, and tendons in the ankle. This process is used both as a preventive measure against ankle injury and in reducing further strain caused by an existing injury.
Taping or strapping is common among physically active people such as athletes and fitness enthusiasts. On the other hand, taping is also useful for people who are at risk of injury due to their nature of work or lifestyle.
For people suffering from an ankle injury, compression through taping is an excellent way of reducing pain and swelling.
How Ankle Taping Helps in Reducing Injury Risk
#1. Taping supports ankle stability.
Ankle injuries are often caused by sudden movements or by running or walking on uneven terrains. Without enough support, the joints and ligaments in the ankle can suddenly twist or tear therefore causing an injury.
Ankle taping or strapping delivers support to the ankle’s joints and ligaments during vigorous activities such as playing sports and exercising.
#2. Taping supports the Plantar Fascia.
The Plantar Fascia refers to the band of supportive tissue that connects the bone in the heel to the base of the toes. An injury to this tissue is called Plantar Fasciitis — an inflammation in the Plantar Fascia which causes terrible pain in the affected area.
Taping is a good way of providing support to the Plantar Fascia on strenuous activities like running. It helps in regulating the movements and stretches, thus, reducing the risk of Plantar Fasciitis.
Moreover, for existing Plantar Fasciitis, taping can help in diminishing the pain while allowing the Fascia to heal at the same time.
#3. Taping delivers a stabilizing effect.
Taping helps in providing added support and stabilization to the ankles. This also delivers protection to the joints, ligaments, and muscles in the ankle by compressing these parts and preventing sudden tears.
Those who have had experiences with ankle injuries would also benefit from the stabilization effect taping provides. Extra stabilization is crucial to people who are trying to get back on track after suffering from an ankle injury or sprain.
Other Benefits of Ankle Taping or Strapping
#1. Pain and Swelling Reduction
Due to the compression taping provides, the swelling and painful sensation caused by an underlying injury or strain are massively reduced. For this reason, taping or strapping has been a staple process in most physiotherapies.
#2. Prevent recurrence of ankle injury or sprain.
Once you’ve had an ankle injury or sprain, the chances of it reoccurring are high. Thus, preventive measures such as taping or strapping are crucial to minimizing the risk of ankle injury recurrence.
#3. Increased comfort.
Given that taping delivers support, stability, and compression to the ankle joints, the entire process eventually leads to increased comfort. It is also noted that taping helps in diminishing pain and swelling caused by ankle sprains or injuries.
#4. Accelerate the healing process.
Taping and strapping enhance blood circulation and boost the free flow of the lymphatic fluid which cleanses and mends the inflammation. Additionally, taping provides support to the muscles and prevents further strain.
Types of Tape to Use
Listed below are the two types of tape you can use for ankle taping and strapping.
Athletic tape delivers better support and restriction to the movements of the ankle as it is not flexible. This tape is suitable for preventing ankle sprain as well as in supporting recovery from an acute injury.
Athletic tape, as the name suggests, is often used by athletes and sportspeople. This is usually worn for a few hours by athletes during practice games and actual competitions.
Physical trainers, athletic coaches, physical therapists, and orthopaedic physicians are most likely the ones to apply athletic tapes on people.
Kinesiology Sports Tape
Kinesiology Tape has gained popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts in the past few years. Unlike athletic tape, Kinesiology tape is designed to be more comfortable and less restrictive.
This tape can be worn for up to three days without removal; it is waterproof and a heat-activated adhesive.
Kinesiology tape is way easier to use - with a few simple instructions from a physical therapist, you can perform the entire taping process correctly by yourself.
Best Practices to Reduce Ankle Injury Risk
#1. Always warm up first.
Before doing any exhausting activity such as running or playing sports, take some time to do light stretches. For instance, you can do a slow static jog for about three minutes to condition your muscles.
Doing warm-ups before strenuous activities is a proven way of minimizing the risk of injuries.
#2. Wear the right shoes.
Choosing the best suitable type of shoes for the activity at hand plays a major role in preventing the risk of an ankle injury or sprain. The right athletic shoes will provide the appropriate support your ankle joints, muscles, ligaments, and bones need.
#3. Strengthen your ankles.
In order to prevent possible risk for ankle injuries, strengthening the ankle itself is definitely one of the top solutions. Taping and strapping only provide support to prevent the risk of injury. However, if the ankles are weak, these preventive methods won’t do much.
#4. Do flexibility exercises.
Flexibility and strength are extremely important. Simple stretch exercises will help in promoting blood circulation and enhance the lower leg’s mobility.
#5. Avoid walking or running on uneven terrains.
As much as possible, refrain from running or walking on uneven walking paths and surfaces. Stepping on holes and loose gravel may cause your ankle to make a sudden twist, thus, a sprain or injury may arise.
Performing the right taping method is something you should consider if you want to try ankle taping out. Moreover, choosing the right taping products is also something worth considering.
If you are looking for top-quality athletic tapes and kinesiology tapes, check outour shop page.