How to Properly Strap Your Ankle For Maximum Support and Protection

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Written By Charlotte Miller

When applied correctly, taping can help to reduce ankle pain and instability and boost your recovery. It can also prevent re-injury during sports and physical activity. For additional support and guidance on taping techniques, it is recommended to consult with a foot doctor or podiatrist who specializes in ankle injuries and rehabilitation.

The technique used to strap your ankle depends on your sprain type. An inverted ankle sprain (where your foot twists inwards) should be wrapped from the outside, while an everted ankle sprain should be taped from the inside. Here are some tips on how to strap your ankle for support.

How to Tape Your Ankle

Athletes can benefit from taped ankles to stabilize the joint, reduce the risk of injury, and improve recovery. There are many different approaches to taping an ankle, and you should consult a doctor or physiotherapist to find the best method on how to strap an ankle for your needs.

Some tapes are designed to restrict movement for short-term support, while others are more flexible and allow for more mobility. It’s essential to apply tape that restricts motion but is not so tight that it restricts blood flow and causes further injury.

You can use various types of tape to strap your ankle, including athletic and kinesiology tape. Both effectively reduce the impact of ankle injuries and can help heal them faster.

To start, cut a piece of tape long enough to wrap around the bottom of your foot at the height of your ankle bones. Holding the end of the tape on the inside of your ankle, secure the other end to the outside of your lower leg at the height of your ankle bones with 25% tension.

Next, circle the tape around your foot like a stirrup. It will increase stability and decrease pain in the ankle.

You can also use a Figure 8 pattern to support the lateral ligaments for extra support. It is an excellent method for ankle inversion sprains (ankle rolls inward).

Heel locks are another common approach to taping an ankle. They help lock the heel in place to minimize the motion it causes, which can be especially helpful for sprained ankles.

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Step 1 – Start with a Stirrup

To properly strap a sprained ankle, the first step is to secure the foot with stirrups. Depending on your specific injury, it may be necessary to use an ankle brace as well.

Using an ankle brace can be beneficial in reducing swelling and pain while recovering from an injury, but it is essential to consult your doctor before choosing a brace. Additionally, wearing supportive shoes when using a brace or tape is best.

Another important consideration is the material you choose to strap your ankle with. The most common material is neoprene, which offers heat insulation to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Neoprene can also be very stiff, so a fabric or knit material can be preferable for all-day comfort and protection from ongoing pain.

Once the taping has been completed, a bandage can be placed over the top of the foot to prevent further swelling and discomfort. An elastic bandage can help keep the skin from rubbing against the tape while still providing adequate compression.

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Step 2 – Circle the Tape Around the Foot

To ensure your foot is securely wrapped, you must circle the tape around the base of your foot. Start by placing a strip of 1 1/2 inch tape (anchor) along the base of your foot, extending out to the back of the heel and connecting on the other side to the video you placed around the ball of the foot in step 1.

Place a strip of about 2 inches of the same tape across the top of the arch from the bottom of the foot, overlapping it by half so you have a nice clean finish.

Next, you will want to use a similar technique to place a strip of about 1 inch of the same tape around the middle of your foot. It will serve as the foundation for the remaining layers of the taping scheme and give you a solid base from which to start.

There are many different ways to do this, but one of the most interesting is using a figure-eight pattern. It will allow you to cover the most area possible while achieving a decent grip. You can also incorporate a basket-weave design style by applying the same number of strips to both the top and bottom of your foot.