We describe below a suggested approach for using athletic tape to apply the “X” Arch taping technique. This technique is useful for providing mild to moderate support for the longitudinal arch of the foot as well as the forefoot. Such support may be an important component of recovery from arch strains or plantar fasciitis. It is also useful in treating pes cavus and pes planus conditions.
After describing the method, we will briefly explain its advantages and drawbacks as a sports medicine taping technique.
X Arch Taping – Materials Required
For the application of this technique, you will need:
- 1″ and 1.5″ non elastic athletic tape
- Adherent tape spray, e.g. Mueller Sports Medicine’s Tufner Pre Tape Spray
X Arch Taping – Suggested Steps
- Position the patient in a seated position on a taping table or bench. His or her leg should extend off the edge of the table or bench and the foot should be at a 90 degree angle to the edge.
- Apply the adherent tape spray to the plantar forefoot area.
- Place a strip of the 1″ tape directly on the skin and over the base of the metatarsal heads. This will serve as an anchor for the remainder of the taping job. If preferred, you may have the anchor encircle the entire foot, but this is not necessary.
- Next, anchor the first “X” strip of tape under the base of the 5th toe. Apply this trip at an angle encircling the medial heel using mild roll tension. End the strip at the base of the great toe.
- Once the first “X” strip has been applied, anchor a second one at the base of the great toe. Then apply this strip around the lateral heel, again using mild roll tension. End at the base of the fifth toe.
- At this point, continue with each “X” strip for an additional 2-3 times. They should overlap on the plantar surface of the foot by between one third to one half of the tape width. They should overlap only minimally as they cross the heel.
- Complete the “X” Arch Taping by applying another anchor strip over the MTP joints. This will cover the ends of the “X” strips applied above.
- As a final step in the process, apply 4-5 strips of 1.5 inch athletic tape to encircle the arch of the foot.
Advantages Of X Arch Taping
X arch taping is a popular technique used in sports medicine to support and stabilize the arch of the foot. Here are some of its advantages:
- Increased support: X-arch taping provides additional support to the arch of the foot, which can help reduce pain and prevent injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
- Improved stability: By providing extra support to the arch of the foot, X-arch taping can improve overall stability and balance, which is especially important for athletes who engage in high-impact activities.
- Enhanced shock absorption: The X-arch taping technique can help absorb shock and reduce stress on the foot, which can help prevent injuries and improve performance.
- Customizable: The X-arch taping technique is highly customizable, allowing the tape to be applied to the specific needs of the individual athlete. This makes it a versatile option for a wide range of foot conditions and injuries.
- Easy to apply: While some level of expertise is required, the X-arch taping technique is relatively easy to apply once the proper technique is learned. This makes it a convenient and accessible option for athletes and sports medicine professionals.
- Allows natural movement: Unlike other taping methods that can restrict movement, the X-arch taping technique allows for natural movement of the foot while still providing support and stability.
Overall, the X arch taping technique is a customizable and effective way to provide support and stability to the arch of the foot, which can help reduce pain, prevent injuries, and improve overall foot health and performance.