Ankle Strapping

Ankle Strapping

Article by John Miller

Ankle Strapping Technique

How to Strap an Ankle

Ankle strapping or taping can be used effectively in both the prevention and treatment of ankle injuries.

As an aid to prevention, the role of ankle strapping is to decrease the frequency and severity of the injury. In particular, a sprained ankle. Injury can be prevented, or the risk of injury can be reduced, by effective strapping tape.

Prevention is Better than a Cure

In many professional sports, clubs have large financial investments in their players and cannot afford to lose a player at any stage of the playing season. Therefore, clubs use preventative strapping tape as a form of insurance against ankle injuries. This, in turn, helps to reduce the loss of performance time by any player.

Which Strapping Tape is Best?

Most ankle strapping uses a rigid sports tape such as the one found here: Rigid Strapping Tape

In most cases, 38mm width strapping tape will suffice. Larger ankles may prefer 50mm width. 25mm strapping tape is normally too constrictive for ankle strapping.

In amateur sport, athletes risk the same injuries, although there is generally little encouragement to take such preventive measures even though the amateur risks the consequence of time off work and paying medical bills.

In these situations, the use of strapping tape, particularly for high-risk sports such as Football, Netball, Basketball, Hockey etc, is potentially far more important to the individual where the cost of prevention could be far less than the cost of the treatment.

Injury info: Sprained Ankle

How to Tape your Ankle

Ankle Strapping Technique to Prevent Lateral Ankle Ligament Sprains

Ankle strapping

Step 1

Attach anchors (A) first and then stirrups (B). (Usually, 3 stirrups are attached from the inside to outside in a U-shape formation).

Step 2

Bind the tape in two figure-6’s around the foot, starting from the inside to the outside, returning to the inside after crossing the front of the foot (C). Figure-6’s helps counteract the inversion movement that can cause injury.

Step 3

Apply a half-heel lock to provide further support to the rear ankle area. Begin on the inside of the lower leg (D) and move down and across the outside of the ankle towards the front of the heel. Pass the tape under the foot and cross the inside of the heel at a 45° angle (E). Pass the tape back to the outside of the ankle to finish on the inside of the lower leg where you started. (Another half-heel lock may be applied in the opposite direction, using the same technique).

Step 4

Overwrap the tape with an Elastic Adhesive Bandage 50mm to provide mild compression and to further secure the taped area. Using the figure-8 formation and a spiral, completely cover the rigid tape.

Common Ankle Injuries

ankle pain

Sprained Ankles

The most common ankle injury is a sprained ankle, but ankle pain can have numerous sources.

Ankle Fractures

An ankle fracture occurs when there is a break in one or more of the bones. The most common ankle fractures are avulsion fractures of your distal fibula, which can be a side effect of an ankle sprain. All suspected fractures require medical investigation and professional management by your health professional to avoid long-term foot and ankle issues. If your healthcare professional suspects an ankle fracture, you will be referred for at least an X-ray and potentially an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Ankle Tendinopathies

While muscle strains are more common in your legs, there are essential muscles that converge into tendons that wrap around your ankle to stabilise your ankle and foot to protect them from sprains and allow you to walk and run. These muscles and their tendon vitally provide you with a normal foot arch and avoid flat feet. Your muscles or tendons can become injured or inflamed as a result of overuse or trauma. The inflammation is called tendonitis. They can also tear, completely rupture, or sublux out of place. Medically tendon injuries are known as tendinopathies, and at the ankle may include:

Ankle Arthritis

Your ankle pain and dysfunction can lead to degenerative conditions such as ankle osteoarthritis. While arthritis usually is a chronic deterioration of your ankle joint, it is crucial to slow ankle arthritis progression. Would you please seek the professional advice of your ankle and foot health practitioner, e.g. physiotherapist or podiatrist?

Biomechanical Conditions

Biomechanical disorders may result in foot deformation, painful weight-bearing and potentially nerve compression. In simple terms, this is where your foot and ankle do not have normal bone alignment and motion contr. Here are a few possible conditions related to poor ankle biomechanics.

Muscle Injuries

Nerve-Related Ankle Pain

Children & Youth Conditions

Systemic Conditions That May Cause Ankle Pain

Soft Tissue Inflammation

Other Useful Information