National health standards and elements

Wrap and Tape Yourself Injury Free

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Wrap and Tape Yourself Injury Free

Use basic wrapping and taping techniques for injuries to ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and back muscles. Even after injuries heal, taping them correctly prevents future injury and allows you to enjoy the activity without worrying about the area. Don't wrap swollen or reddened areas. This shows the area is trying to heal. Treat with ice, heat, elevation and rest. When applying tape, relax the muscles naturally and test after the first layer for the appropriate tightness. Wrap tightly enough to feel support and pressure but not so tightly they cut off the circulation. Remove the wrap and start again if it bunches or constricts during movement.

Students understanding will be determined by their ability to taping for function and splint for function. Students should be able to explain why they tape the way they do for what function.


Step 1

Place athlete on table. Spray ankle area with adhesive spray. Have athlete pull toe back so foot is at a 90 degree angle and point toes slightly outward.

Step 2

Pre-wrap ankle from mid-calf to just past the mid-foot.

Step 3

Using 2” athletic tape, place anchor strip at the base of the gastrocnemius (calf). Be sure to angle slightly upward (10:00 and 2:00 positions). Place another anchor strip around medial arch on foot – loosely.

Step 4

Place 3-5 stirrups longitudinally around ankle joint. Start on inside of foot, pull snug on outside as you fasten at the top.

Step 5

Place 1-3 strips at base of lower leg around ankle joint – just above the heel.

Step 6

Cover stirrups with more strips around lower leg. Be sure to maintain upward angle. Be sure to tear tape after each rotation to avoid circulation problems.

Step 7

Apply heel locks. Start tape at 1 (top of ankle), around to 2 (base of heel bone) and around to 3 (back of heel/Achilles’ tendon). Then continue to 1– 2– 3 again. Do this 2-4 more times, tearing tape each time. Be careful not to go too low on the foot or too high on the ankle.

Step 8

Place more strips around to secure heel locks. Check for gaps and cover them with strips. Be sure there are no significant folds in tape to avoid blistering or cuts.

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