How To: Wrap a sprained ankle

Wrap a sprained ankle

Assemble the necessary equipment: a roll of 1- to 2-inch-wide athletic tape and a pair of scissors.

Wrap one piece of athletic tape under the heel of the foot and bring both ends up the ankle to either side of the leg. The tape should form a "U," like the stirrup on a horse's saddle.

Affix the tape to the skin just behind the knobby bone that juts out on either side of the ankle, pressing the tape firmly along the little groove behind the bone.

Wrap a second piece of tape around the base of the heel, bringing the ends of the tape along either side of the foot, heading for the toes. It should form a 90-degree angle with the first piece of tape.

Wrap a third piece of tape under the heel and up either side of the foot and ankle in the same manner as you wrapped the first piece of tape. Position the tape so that it runs adjacent to the first piece of tape - it should fall right over the knobby anklebone that juts out.

Wrap a fourth piece of tape around the heel, running just above and adjacent to the second piece of tape, with the ends again heading for the toes along both sides of the foot. You now have the basic structure for the "basket weave" - overlapping pieces of tape that wrap around the heel, extend to the toe, wrap under the heel and climb up to the ankle.

Apply about eight more pieces of tape in this manner - four adjacent strips of tape that wrap around the heel pointing toward the toes, and four adjacent strips that wrap under the heel and head up the ankle. Alternating between strips that run along the foot and strips that run up the ankle will give you a weave that limits mobility and supports the entire ankle.

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