Article by Sarah Anderson
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 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 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 the 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
Attach anchors (A) first and then stirrups (B). (Usually 3 stirrups are attached from the inside to outside in a U-shape formation).
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 help counteract the inversion movement that can cause injury.
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).
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.
Traumatic Ankle Ligament Injuries
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