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Athletic Taping Using Circular Arch Technique

In this post, we describe how a therapist can use the circular arch taping technique to apply athletic tape for mild support to the longitudinal arch of the foot. The circular arch taping technique is appropriate for treating longitudinal arch strains.

Circular arch taping is also an effective technique for managing pes cavus conditions, i.e. when the sole of the foot exhibits a hollow shape when bearing weight. Pes cavus is also known as fixed plantar flexion. Finally, the circular arch technique is useful for treating pes planus conditions. Pes planus conditions are the opposite of pes cavus conditions and manifest themselves as a flattened longitudinal arch. The common term for pes cavus is flat feet.

Circular Arch Taping – Preparation

For this task, you will need 1.5 inch non elastic athletic tape. Optional extras are pre-wrap or self adherent wrap, 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch foam or felt and a pair of taping scissors

The individual to be taped should be seated on a taping table or bench with leg extending off the edge. The foot should be at a 90 degree angle to the upper leg.

Circular Arch Taping – Step By Step Instructions

With this technique, you will apply the tape directly to the skin.You can apply the pre-wrap or self adherent wrap around the midfoot area for increased adherence and to reduce potential irritation . You may also use the felt pad to provide additional support to the arch area of the foot. We will describe this technique in a future post.

  • To start, anchor the 1.5 inch non elastic athletic tape on the medial aspect of the foot. Position the anchor just proximal to the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe.
  • Pull the tape laterally across the dorsum of the foot. Continue to pull the tape across the planter surface.. Finally, anchor the strip on the dorsal aspect of the foot. For best results, we suggest that you avoid excess roll tension as it may result in constriction of the foot when it is bearing weight.
  • To complete the circular arch taping job, apply a further 3 to 5 additional tape strips proximally. As much as possible, you should overlap each strip by approximately 50% of the tape width.
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