A Rehab-Based Protocol for Taping Achilles Tendinitis with RockTape

Achilles tendinitis is a painful condition athletes often experience in which the Achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle above the heel, becomes inflamed from overuse. This condition can be vastly improved by correctly taping the back of the calf, ankle, and heel area with RockTape kinesiology tape. Such therapeutic taping can bring relief from the pain of Achilles tendinitis, while protecting this critical tendon from further injury and aiding healing.

Taping Achilles tendinitis with RockTape kinesiology tape is a three-step process:

Step One: Stretch the Area
Step Two: Stabilize
Step Three: Decompress

Follow these instructions to correctly apply RockTape using a rehab-based protocol for the relief of Achilles tendinitis:

Step One: Stretch the Area

• With patient lying on his/her stomach, flex the leg up and back, bringing the heel toward the body and bending the leg at the knee.

• Stretch the Achilles tendon by having the patient dorsiflex the foot: bend the foot toward the leg, bringing the toes closer to the shin and decreasing the angle between the dorsum (the superior, or upper, surface of the foot) and the leg.

• Apply appropriate tension, based on patient’s tolerance.

Step Two: Stabilize

• Measure a section of RockTape that will cover the distance from the heel to the mid-calf area, starting at the base of the heel and moving around the heel and up the back of the leg to the mid-calf.

• Cut the tape, making sure to round the edges to prevent pulling from socks or bed sheets.

• Remove backing from the base, and lay the base of the tape at the calcaneus (heel bone), rubbing the tape gently to aid adhesion.

• Remove backing from remainder of tape length, and apply the tape, stretching it around the heel, up the Achilles tendon, and along the calf, tracking up the “gastroc” (gastrocnemius, or calf muscle).

• Fold and press the RockTape down around the edges of the Achilles tendon, being careful to avoid creasing the tape – particularly on the bottom of the foot, where they can potentially cause blisters.

• Rub the tape vigorously to create heat and activate the glue and cause it to adhere better.

Step Three: Decompress

• Measure and cut a three- to four-inch length of RockTape, again making sure to round the corners to prevent pulling.

• Apply the section of RockTape crosswise, across the back of the ankle, directly over or slightly above the medial lateral malleolus muscle. (For location of this muscle, see the video linked to at the end of the post.) In determining exactly where to apply the tape, ask the patient where s/he feels the Achilles tendinitis pain.

• Since a decompression strip requires 50% pull, stretch the tape during application, applying while the calf is in a stretched position, pulling the cut section of RockTape across the area, and adding a little more tension, if needed, using your arm, as you stretch the tape across the back of the ankle, pulling the backing off as you go.

• As always, rub the tape to ensure good adhesion.

For a demonstration of the above RockTape kinesiology taping technique, watch the following video: How to Tape Achilles Tendinitis with RockTape Kinesiology Tape.

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