My understanding has always been that taping was used to determine the potential efficacy of orthotic use. Prefab orthotics can cost patients less and provide the same information with the added value of the prefabricated device and the benefit of its continued use.
I have not found taping to be an indicator of whether orthotics will be of value in treatment. On the contrary, often the taping will work better than the orthotic that is eventually made.
Taping is in itself therapeutically useful at times.
I have a brand of orthotic that will match the results of your taping. I love using them.
i always tape first to make sure an orthotic will relieve the pathology.
I tape first if a lab fabricated orthotic is required. Taping is not done if a prefab is dispensed.
Cost is involved with this choice.
Taping can be done for multiple problems. Mild ankle sprain ... taping often helps. Peroneal or posterior tibial tendonitis ... taping often helps. Taping is a good indicator of whether an orthotic is going to help and it is covered by many insurance companies whereas an OTC insert may help, depending on the problem and is at the patient's expense.
Granted, OTCs can be used over and over and taping only lasts for a short amount of time. I can see both sides. Depending on the situation, I try to make the best decision at the time for patients. I try very hard to look at the problem, understand whether the patient will be compliant and whether the patient can afford an OTC device vs. a custom device. It is too bad we cannot just do what we feel will work best instead of always having to take so many factors into consideration. However, that is the reality of today's medical world and we all have to do the best we can for each patient's pathology and situation. Bottom line: I do some of each. I dispense OTCs, I tape, I do custom orthotics and sometimes I do a combination or progression of all.
Taping 'properly' is one of the most valuable tools we as podiatric physicians have in our diagnostic and treatment armamentarium. I especially use Low Dye straps, amongst other forms of taping, for the initial treatment of many conditions including plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, capsulitis sub 2nd metatarsal with a hypermobile 1st ray, and hallux rigidus/limitus, with varying degrees of success.
I also use a Low Dye strap for diagnostic purposes in determining whether a properly fabricated functional foor orthotic device has the potential to alleviate the patient's symptomatology for any of the above conditions and other conditions including but not limited to relief of 1st MPJ capsulitis related to a developing HAV.
Taping is a great tool to use in conjunction with NSAIDS, cortisone injections, shoe modifications, stretching exercises, etc. I find it is a better therapeutic modality and diagnostic predictor of the efficacy of a foot orthotic than is a pre-fabricated orthotic device.
Just my opinion and experience.
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