Taping Ankle Injuries: Stick To It

Athletic tape can still do wonders for an injured ankle.
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Athletic tape can still do wonders for an injured ankle.

For most sprains, a little tape goes a long way.

It's a well-accepted fact that taping helps support a sprained ankle and reduces the chances of further injury. It can also help prevent reinjury if you've suffered a previous mishap. Experts also now believe that taping stimulates nerve messages to the brain, improving balance and coordination.

Athletic tape works best, although any type will do in a pinch, including duct tape. The best all-around taping method is the basket weave. Start low on the foot and work up toward the calf, alternating under-the-foot strips with those that wrap around behind the ankle and up the leg. The tape should be snug but not so tight that it reduces circulation. If the toes get cool or tingle, the tape is too tight. If you don't have tape, a good ol' elastic bandage also helps reduce swelling.