Sesamoiditis Taping Technique (Videos Below)
Is the bottom of your big toe paining? Have you already tried the fundamental remedies out there? Do you have the best metatarsal pads for sesamoiditis? Are you already wearing the right shoes for sesamoiditis?
Because is you haven’t, then sesamoiditis taping is not for you.
Sesamoiditis taping is an add-on therapy that supports the sesamoids in 3 different ways mentioned below.
Why Tape The Big Toe For Sesamoiditis
Sesamoiditis taping helps the sesamoids in 3 different ways:
- Sesamoiditis taping is an excellent way to reduce inflammation in the first metatarsal joint.
- It prevents over extending of the first metatarsal joint, thus reducing risk of further injury.
- It repositions the natural sub-metararsal fatty padding under the first metatarsal, thus offering more protection.
- Sesamoiditis taping also lifts the first metatarsal joint upward, thus reducing pressure on it.
- Using a metatarsal pad in conjuction with the taping will alleviate further pressure from the metatarsal.
Sesamoditis Taping – How To Tape The Big Toe To Reduce Inflammation And Pain
Sesamoiditis taping can be done in 3 different methods. I am going to explain the procedure for each method, but I highly encourage you to try them all and see what works best for you.
For most of you, the last method should more than suffice to take the load off the sesamoid bones. This is the most common method of taping and by far the simplest.
The second method is the toughest but is also great for those that are not fans of metatarsal pads or dancers pads. Wearing these pads can be somewhat constricting inside a shoe, hence I have documented this method here as well.
The first method on the other hand is an excellent alternative to the two and can be tried if the other 2 methods don’t work.
Method 1: Taping The Big Toe To Limit Range Of Motion
In order to tape the big toe to limit it’s range of motion:
- Measure and cut a piece of kinesio tape from the tip of the big toe to the middle of the arch of the foot.
- In order to make a y-strip from this piece of tape, cut down the middle of the tape (length wise) up to a length of 2 inches. This will for a strip that looks like the alphabet Y, with two 2 inch arms and a long trunk.
- Tear the backing paper from the arms of the y-strip. Then, place the base of the y-strip at the base of the big toe.
- Bring the arms of the y-strip over and around the big toe. The y-strip should sit around the base of the big toe like a tie.
- Remove the remaining backing paper from the kinesio tape, leaving the last 2 inches on. These 2 inches constitute the anchor point of the kinesio tape. Anchor points help the tape stick to the skin and must be applied with absolutely no stretch.
- After removing the backing paper upto the anchor point, apply the rest of the tape to the arch of the foot using 20% stretch.
- You can then peel off the backing paper from the anchor point, and lay it down on the foot using absolutely no stretch.
You should feel a slight amount of tension on the big toe pulling the big toe downward. This is normal and is evidence that you have applied the tape properly.
It is important to note that the tension should not be too much. The toe should be able to move with relative ease in the opposite direction when force is applied to it.
The objective of limiting range of motion is two fold. Over extending the big toe exerts more pressure on the sesamoids during toe-off. The other reason for limiting range of motion, is re-position the natural sub-metatarsal padding under the big toe. This protects the sesamoids by reducing impact and providing extra cushioning.
Method 2: Taping To Lift The First Metatarsal Upward
To tape the big toe in order to lift the first metatarsal upward:
- You will need to create a tab which will serve as an anchor to lift the first metatarsal upward.
- To make the tab, cut a piece of kinesio tape about 6 inches long.
- Fold the tape down the middle (breadth wise) to create a crease.
- Tear the backing paper along this crease and stick the tape to itself, creating a tab, leaving 2 inches on either side ‘unstuck’.
- Place the center of the tab over the sesamoids and stick the limbs of the tab onto the forefoot. This tab will cat as an anchor point to lift the first metatarsal upward.
- In order to lift the first metatarsal upward, measure and cut a piece of tape that is long enough to go around your forefoot once.
- You can round off the corners of the tape so that it does not get caught on pieces of clothing.
- Peel the first two inches of backing paper from the kinesio tape and anchor it to 5th metatarsal joint.
- Continue to apply the tape toward and over the tab, making sure the tab faces away from the little toe.
- Once the tape is applied over the tab, you can then use tension on the tape to invert the forefoot.
- Then lay the tape over the top of the foot.
Taping the foot this way helps invert the foot. This lifts the first metatarsal joint upward, taking pressure off the big toe and the sesamoid bones.
Method 3: Taping In Conjunction With A Metatarsal Pad
In order to tape the foot in conjunction with a metatarsal pad:
- Place the metatarsal pad or dancer’s pad over the first metatarsal.
- Make sure to place the “well” of the metatarsal over the sesamoid bones. This ensure that the sesamoids don’t make any contact with the ground.
- You can then use either of the aforementioned 2 methods to stick the metatarsal pad or dancer’s pad to the forefoot. Or you can use the following steps.
- Measure and cut a piece of kinesio tape long enough to go around your forefoot and metatarsal pad.
- Peel the baking paper from the tape and wrap it around your forefoot and metatarsal pad.
- To stop the tape from sliding over and off your foot, you can place little bits of tape in between your toes.
- To do this cut a piece of tape about 3 inches long. Then cut this tape into 4 small fingers.
- Tear the backing paper off the fingers, twise them and place them in between your toes.
- Then Stick the top portion of each finger to the top part of the tape and the bottom part of the finger to the bottom of the tape. This will keep the tape and the metatasal pad in place at all times.
Taping the big toe in conjunction with a metatarsal pad will ensure that the metatarsal pad does not slip out of place.
Sesamoiditis taping is an excellent addition to the tool box when treating sesamoiditis. Although works best when combined with the best shoes for sesamoiditis as well as sesamoiditis treatment exercises.
Sub-metatarsal fatty padding/plantar fat pad: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399359/
Causes of sesamoiditis (metatarsalgia), plantar fatty pad atrophy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11202764