If you rely on somebody to tape your foot…well now you don’t have to! In today’s “How to” blog we are going to look at how to do your own Low Dye taping.

 

What is Low Dye taping? What is it used for?

Low dye taping is a taping technique designed to support the arch of the foot, and can be used for many different injuries. It is often used to offload the plantar fascia, to reduce overpronation that contributes to lower limb injuries such as shin splints and to offload foot and ankle muscles or joints, such as the tibialis posterior. It is often used in the short term to reduce symptoms during the early phase of treatment and while strength and capacity is improved, but is also quite effective during sport.

Low Dye taping is a simple technique that can be applied by you or a friend by following these easy steps…

Step 1- Skin preparation

This step is particularly important with Low Dye taping as our feet can get clammy and sweaty. Ensure your skin is clean and dry before applying the tape. During sport, adhesive spray or under wrap (eg. Fixomull) will help the tape adhere well. If you are allergic to rigid tape, make sure to use hypoallergenic tape (Fixomull) before applying the rigid tape. If you would like more info on how to best prepare your skin for Low Dye taping, refer to our blog “How to…Tape your own ankle” .

Step 2 – Anchor

The anchor is the first step and starts from the base of the big toe, wraps around the heel and finishes roughly at the base of the little toe. This anchor doesn’t need any tension and does not have to be perfect as its purpose is only to anchor the rest of the tape.

Picture 1

 

Step 3 – Horizontal anchor

This anchor’s purpose is again only to allow the rest of the tape to do its job. It requires no tension and starts at the base of the big toe and tracks horizontally to the base of the little toe.

Picture 2

 

Step 4 – Vertical “fanning”

This step is arguably the most important. The tape starts at the centre of the heel and ends at the horizontal anchor at the base of the big toe. The next piece starts at the same point, but like a “fanning” sequence slightly overlaps the first piece and ends in the middle of the foot. The last piece starts again in the centre of the heel and ends near the base of the little toe. For a tighter application, the toes can be curled during this fanning process to create maximum tension on the tape.

Picture 3

 

Step 5 – Horizontal strips

This step provides extra support and again is quite important. Starting from the outside of the foot, the tape horizontally tracks to the inside of the foot. Place some tension on this strip to increase support. Repeat this 2-3 times, overlapping the previous strip of tape by about 50%.

 

Step 6 – Lock off

This step is the same as Step 2. It starts from the base of the big toe, wraps around the heel and finishes roughly at the base of the little toe.

Picture 1

 

There are several variations to low dye taping and your physiotherapist may use more complex techniques, but for self-application, this is probably the most practical and easy to replicate at home.

If you are unsure if you would benefit from low dye taping, speak to your physiotherapist for the best treatment plan for your injury.