Tape Yourself: Plantar Fasciitis

A popular athletic adhesive support the foot while relieving pain.

Gold, silver, and bronze weren't the only colors decorating Beijing Olympians. Some athletes wore Kinesio Tex Tape in strips of pink, blue, and black. This adhesive is popular because it speeds healing without limiting range of motion, says Amol Saxena, D.P.M., a sports podiatrist in Palo Alto, California. "The tape pulls up the skin slightly, allowing more blood to flow to the injured area," he says. He teaches runners, including bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan, how to put it on themselves. The tape ($14.95 per roll at kinesio-tape.com) can last five days, even in the shower. Saxena thinks black sticks best to sweaty skin.

Below is the method to combat plantar fasciitis; see also Achilles tendinitis, runner's knee, shinsplints and ankle sprain.

1. Cut a piece of tape long enough to reach from the back of your heel to just below your toes on the ball of your foot. Don't remove the backing.

2. Cut the tape into four "fingers," leaving a few inches on one end uncut so that it covers your heel.

3. Cut another piece of tape long enough to cover the ball of your foot, and round the edges.

4. Peel off the backing of the uncut tape and place it on the back of your heel. Flex your ankle and pull your toes up with one hand. Peel off the fingers one at a time and place them evenly along the bottom of your foot without stretching the tape. Peel the backing off the second strip and place it across the ball of your foot to anchor the fingers.

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